SA v IND, 2nd Test: Ashwin, Pant on rebuilding job as Rahul falls after making fifty
Johannesburg, January 3, 2022
Ravichandran Ashwin and Rishabh Pant were on a rebuilding job for India after South Africa made further inroads into the batting order in the second session of the second Test at the Wanderers.
At tea, India were 146/5 in 51 overs with Ashwin (batting 24) and Pant (batting 13) after KL Rahul made a fifty but departed quickly.
The session began with Hanuma Vihari driving through mid-off off Lungi Ngidi. Vihari was given a life at nine when Temba Bavuma dropped a straightforward catch at point off Ngidi. Rahul and Vihari crunched five boundaries in the next six overs, with the stand-in captain's drive through covers and latter's slap over point being the standouts.
But the 42-run stand between Rahul and Vihari was brought to an end by Kagiso Rabada, who took out Vihari at the stroke of drinks break. Rabada's short ball with an extra bounce to Vihari took an inner edge to the short leg, where Rassie van der Dussen dived to his left and put out his left hand to take a stunning catch.
Rahul continued to solidify his presence with a leaning drive through covers off Duanne Olivier and pulled a Rabada bouncer through fine leg. He then brought up his half-century in 128 balls with a single through square leg. But in the next over, Rahul attempted to pull a short ball from Marco Jansen but got a top-edge and was caught by Rabada diving in from fine leg.
Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin built a stand of 30 runs off just 32 balls for the sixth wicket, with the off-spinner being the more aggressive of the two with four boundaries to his name. If India are to get 250 in the first innings, they need Ashwin and Pant to bat through the final session on a pitch showing signs of variable bounce.
Earlier, India made 36/0 in the opening hour of the first session. But the tables turned in the second hour, making just 17 runs and losing the wickets of Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane.
Brief scores: 146/5 in 51 overs (KL Rahul 50, Mayank Agarwal 26; Marco Jansen 2/18, Duanne Olivier 2/47) v South Africa