India vs South Africa First Test: Nine wickets to get on final day
VISAKHAPATNAM : A slow pitch that isn’t crumbling as they hoped, nine South African wickets and the possibility of rain stand between India and a 1-0 lead in the Freedom Trophy. Their batsmen have done the job, especially Rohit Sharma. Ravindra Jadeja has already given India an opening by removing Dean Elgar early on.
But on Sunday, India will have to be patient. This isn’t a wicket where wickets will come in clusters. With the odd ball keeping low, the pacers will come in to play and they will target the stumps. But India have reasons to worry as well. Though they had taken three of South Africa’s first innings wickets on the last hour of Day 2, their bowlers weren’t as efficient on Day 3. They had to toil for each of the seven wickets. Which is why India delayed their declaration by a few overs as they wanted R Ashwin to bowl with the hard ball on Sunday.
“We are really happy with the way things went today. Hopefully on Day 5, this pitch wouldn’t be easy to bat on and there will be a little more assistance for spinners. I think there is enough rough for spinners and cracks will open up bit more on Day 5.
The cracks will help fast bowlers and we have seen that the pitch has variable bounce,” Cheteshwar Pujara said.For South Africa, all isn’t lost yet. They can derive hope from how they have batted in the first innings. Faf du Plessis might continue to bat at No 5 as he can consolidate if they lose early wickets.