South Africa on top after day one of second Test against India at Johannesburg

South African players celebrate the dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara on the opening day of the second Test at Wanderers on Monday

South Africa finished the opening day of the second Test match against India at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday on top, reaching 35/1 in reply to the visiting team’s total of 202 all out. South Africa are trailing 0-1 in the three-match series for the Freedom Trophy 2021.

Mohammed Shami provided India with the first breakthrough when he trapped South Africa opening batsman Aiden Markram leg-before for 7 in their first innings, but the hosts did well to survive the remaining overs late in the day on Monday to get to 35/1, trailing by another 167 runs in the first innings against the world No 1 team.

India are playing the Johannesburg Test without their regular captain, Virat Kohli, who was deemed to be suffering with an upper back spasm and could not take the field. The opening batsman and vice-captain for this tour in place of Rohit Sharma, the talented KL Rahul was elevated as India’s 34th captain in the longest format and he began with a high of scoring a vital half-century.

Rahul faced 133 balls and hit 9 boundaries to score 50 but none of the other batsmen from the Indian team could make a mark, with their middle-order mainstays Cheteshwar Pujara (3) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) flopping with the bat once again. 

Hanuma Vihari, playing this Test in place of Kohli, fell for 20 from 53 balls whereas the other significant contributions came from spin bowling all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, who cracked 6 boundaries to make 46 from 50 balls. Mayank Agarwal made 26 from 37 balls with 5 boundaries whereas Rishabh Pant could manage only 1 boundary from his 43 balls as he made 17.

The tall South Africa fast bowler Marco Jansen was the most impressive among the home team bowling attack as he returned with figures of 17-5-31-4, whereas Kagiso Rabada and returning fast bowler Duanne Oliver took identical figures of 3/64 from their 17.1 and 17 overs respectively.

At stumps, South Africa captain Dean Elgar was batting on 11 having faced 57 balls and hit 1 boundary in the company of No 3 batsman Keegan Petersen, who hit 2 boundaries to make 14 not out from 39 balls as the home team won the bragging rights on the opening day of the Johannesburg Test.