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India suffer another batting collapse in testing Johannesburg pitch

South Africa celebrating the wicket of Murali Vijay in Johannesburg
South Africa celebrating the wicket of Murali Vijay in Johannesburg

India 187 (Kohli 54) v
South Africa 6-1 (Bhuvneshwar 1-3)
Third Test, Johannesburg, day one

A collective effort from the South African pacers once again troubled the Indian batsmen as they were bowled out for 187 runs in the first innings of the third and final Test in Johannesburg.

All-pace attack from both sides

South Africa opted to remove Keshav Maharaj with Andile Phehlukwayo as they went with five-seam attack while India got Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ajinkya Rahane in the place of Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma respectively as the conditions were conducive to swing bowling. India though decided to bat first on winning the toss.

Pujara-Kohli resists Proteas attack

After a testing first three overs that saw the ball fly in all directors, Vernon Philander (2-31) provided the initial breakthrough when he had Lokesh Rahul (0) caught behind and in the sixth over, South Africa reviewed a LBW decision against Cheteshwar Pujara (50) though it was umpire's call. Kagiso Rabada (3-39) was introduced in the ninth over and he straightaway created an impact when Murali Vijay (8) edged one to the keeper.

With conditions increasingly tough to bat on, Pujara went for his typical grinding with his first run coming in the 54th delivery after 90 minutes stay at the crease. Virat Kohli (54) though looked in decent touch at the other end as India went into lunch with a score of 45 for two after managing a run-rate of under two.

The runs began to come freely in the second session and the duo shared two boundaries each to get some momentum going. Kohli was handed a reprieve when he was put down in the slips by AB de Villiers in the 33rd over and he went on to complete his half-century off 101 deliveries before Lungi Ngidi (1-27) removed him to bring an end to 84-run partnership for the third wicket.

South Africa rattle Indian line-up

Once the partnership was broken, South Africa began to unleash more pace and comeback man Rahane (9) was caught behind in the 49th over but fortunately for him, Philander had overstepped. Just when Pujara began to slightly up the ante, his 179-ball fighting knock was ended by Phehlukwayo (2-25). From there on, Rahane, Parthiv Patel (2) and Hardik Pandya (0) all failed before Bhuvneshwar (30) scored some useful runs to take the total to 187 runs before they were bowled out.

Rabada picked three wickets for South Africa while Morne Morkel (2-47), Philander and Phehlukwayo picked two wickets apiece.

Bhuvneshwar provides some consolation for India

Bhuvneshwar (1-3) troubled the South African openers with the new ball and was rewarded with a wicket when Aiden Markram (2) edged one to the keeper. Nevertheless, Dean Elgar (4 not out), who was troubled along with Rabada (0 not out) ensured South Africa did not lose any further wicket as they ended the day with a score of 6 for one.

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