India started off the second day with a purpose. There was this sense of clarity that seemed to be absent when they were forced into taking the field on the first day, on a rather dry pitch.
But with those two run-outs late in the day yesterday, India resurfaced back into reckoning after playing second fiddle for most part of the first day.
Keshav Maharaj and Faf du Plesis wanted to keep India at bay for as long as possible and the duo applied themselves brilliantly in the first hour, before a sumptuous seaming delivery from Shami caught Maharaj feeling for it.
And with Ashwin knocking on the door from the other end, it seemed like India would end up running through the South African tail.
However, Ashwin wasn’t rewarded for his superlative bowling, due to lacklustre fielding on part of the Indian fielders.
Virat Kohli dropped one at first slip, followed by a horrible mix up between Pandya and Shami, giving Rabada two lives off two balls. And it seemed like India’s catching would once again end up letting them down.
Parthiv Patel then dropped a rather regulation catch off Ashwin once again to put India under further pressure.
When all looked lost, Hardik Pandya pulled off a screamer, running in from the boundary line to sent Rabada back into the hut.
Ishant Sharma dropped it short, inviting the pull from Rabada and he obliged big time. But he couldn’t really get on top of the bounce and hence ended up hitting the ball up in the air.
Pandya, like a leopard, raced towards the ball and took a stunning forward diving catch.
Check out the video:
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s Hardik Pandya!! pic.twitter.com/vPxZXM9aqg
— anshul kothari (@slimshady_ansh) January 14, 2018
India have bowled out South Africa for 335 and will be hoping to put up a strong first innings performance in order to make a comeback in this Test series.