JOHANNESBURG: A half-century by Virat Kohli and a patient defensive innings by Cheteshwar Pujara helped India withstand a fast bowling barrage on the first day of the third and final Test against South Africa on Wednesday.
Kohil has called for his players to restore pride in this Test after South Africa clinched the three-match series last week.
In response to that appeal, India were 114 for four at tea after Kohli won the toss and decided to bat on a hard, well-grassed pitch in cool, overcast conditions at the Wanderers Stadium. Kohli himself made 54 and Pujara was on 27 not out.
A patient Pujara took 54 balls to score his first runs and by tea had faced 145 deliveries.
Kohli was dropped twice and a wicket was overturned because of a no-ball, hampering South Africa on a day when the bowlers were able to extract considerable sideways movement off the pitch.
India’s captain made his runs off 106 balls with nine fours.
He was put down when he had 11 by Vernon Philander off Kagiso Rabada and on 32 by AB de Villiers at third slip off Morne Morkel.
De Villiers made amends when he held a sharp chance, again at third slip, off Lungi Ngidi to end Kohli’s innings.
Philander, who took the first wicket when he had Lokesh Rahul caught behind, was denied a second wicket when Ajinkya Rahane, on three, edged him to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, only to get a reprieve when replays
showed he had over-stepped the bowling crease.
Rahane made only six more runs before he was leg before wicket to Morkel shortly before tea.—AFP