Electing to bat on a green top in Johannesburg, India wanted their openers to give them a strong foundation. But the South African bowlers were in no mood to let in, as Philander and Rabada dismissed the Rahul and Vijay respectively.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli then walked to the middle, as India needed their captain to put on another great performance for his team.
At 13-2, both Kohli and Pujara had to hang around and put up a partnership, something that India has not been able to do through out the series.
The pair put on 87 important runs for the third wicket, as both Kohli and Pujara hung in there on a difficult pitch. While Pujara battled for every run, Kohli took his chances against the bowlers, as he was never shy of playing his shots.
The Proteas were untidy on the pitch, as they dropped Kohli twice in his innings. First Philander misjudged a relatively simple catch, before AB de Villiers dropped a sitter in the slips.
Kohli eventually brought up his half century, as the Indian skipper brought up yet another landmark. India needed Kohli to carry on and play a long innings, if they wished to put up a huge first innings score.
But eventually his luck ran out, as Kohli edged a full delivery to AB in the slips.
In walked Ajinkya Rahane, as the Mumbai batsman knew that there was a lot of pressure on him in this innings.
The team management had picked Rohit Sharma over Rahane in the first two test matches, and were widely criticized for this decision. Rahane has been India’s most successful batsman overseas, as he his record outside the sub-continent was even more impressive than Kohli’s.
But Rahane’s form over the last year has been quite worrisome for the batsman, as he struggled with form and consistency in the longer format.
Unfortunately for India, Rahane could not take this opportunity and was dismissed LBW by Morkel for just nine to name. Kohli’s look of disappointment was enough to tell the story, as India knew that they had a big struggle in front of them in this test match!
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Ajinkya Rahane is out. LBW b Morkel. Reviewed but it is Umpire's call. OUT. pic.twitter.com/qo8KO4SbwK
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