Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

India dominate South Africa in their own backyard on Day 3

Cheteshwar Pujara essayed his sixth Test hundred in Test cricket against South Africa (File Photo) © PTI
Cheteshwar Pujara essayed an unbeaten hundred against South Africa © PTI (File Photo)

If ever India dominated a whole day of a Test match on foreign soil, it was on Day Three of the first Test against South Africa in Johannesburg. The bowlers wrapped up the South African innings quickly on Friday and then the batsmen took the game away from the home side. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli were the undoubted stars for India on a good day for them. Shrikant Shankar has more…



How often do we see the world’s No 1 Test side being outplayed in their own backyard in a day’s play? Not very often. India’s young brigade did exactly that on Day Three of the first Test against South Africa in Johannesburg. South Africa began the day with the score reading 213 for six in response to India’s 280 all out. Vernon Philander immediately got to his half-century and the home side would have been looking at overturning the deficit.


But Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan did not let that to happen and cleaned up the South African lower-order and tail quite quickly. South Africa were bowled out for 244. Both Ishant and Zaheer finished with four wickets each. To get a 36-run lead after the first innings, India had done extremely well. The job then shifted to the batsmen in the second innings to put up a good total. South Africa’s famed pace bowling attack would have been relishing the opportunity to take some quick wickets and induce panic amongst the Indian batsmen.


They began very well and India’s initial runs were limited to only singles and the occasional double. The boundaries were kept at bay for large parts. But there was no pressure on India to score quickly with more than two-and-a-half days still left to play in the Test. However, Philander struck to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan for 15 before lunch. The wicket was his 100th in Test cricket. It was a historic one as well, as he became the fastest South African bowler to reach the milestone. He was also the eighth fastest in Test history.


Jacques Kallis  played his part by taking a good diving catch at second slip after Dhawan had edged a length delivery. In doing so, Kallis took his 199th catch in Test cricket. But soon, South Africa’s day was to get grimmer. Morne Morkel’s foot got stuck in the turf near the boundary while fielding and he tore a ligament in his ankle. He had to come off the field and played no part in the day’s proceedings. He had bowled only two overs by then. By the end of the day, it was clear that the tall right-arm fast bowler would play no more part in the ongoing Test. Whether he bats in South Africa’s second innings is yet to be seen.


Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara were going strong and added 70 runs for the second wicket. Just as Vijay seemed to settle in properly, he feathered a leg-side delivery from Kallis to AB de Villiers behind the wickets. Then came in Virat Kohli and just one over before tea, it was clear who was bossing the match. Graeme Smith handed the ball to AB de Villiers of all people to try and get a much-needed breakthrough. De Villiers bowled an over of his right-arm mediums and gave away five runs. Hashim Amla took over the gloves and kept behind the wickets. India entered tea with a lead of 145. This showed that Smith did not trust leg-spinner — Imran Tahir.


To bowl a wicketkeeper in place of a regular spinner to take a wicket, it showed that Smith had lost the plot a bit for sure. After tea, the duo took full charge and scored freely. The fact that Morkel could not bowl did not help South Africa at all and the Indian batsmen made all the bowlers toil very hard. Kohli looked in sublime touch and struck an array of shots. Both Pujara and Kohli left the ball very well and forced the South African bowlers to bowl more closer to the stumps. When they did that, the duo  scored runs.


Every time Tahir was brought into the attack, both Pujara and Kohli targeted the leg-spinner and did not let him settle into a rhythm. This forced Smith to overuse Dale Steyn, Philander and even Kallis. Things got that difficult for Tahir that Smith made JP Duminy bowl 11 overs by the end of the day’s play. Kohli got to his half-century and looked even more comfortable as his innings went along. But that is when Pujara really showed his abilities with the bat. He had already reached his half-century, but still he seemed like constructing a patient innings.


Pujara started playing all the strokes in his armoury and scored quickly. Whether he played on the front-foot or the back-foot, Pujara played the ball late and made batting look quite easy. The pitch too looked to flatten out a little bit and that helped the batsmen to score more freely. As Pujara came closer to his century, it looked like it did not matter to him who he was facing. He struck boundaries against all the bowlers he faced and ran well between the wickets.


He soon scored his ton with a cover drive that went for four. This was his sixth Test century in only his 16th Test. Such was the magnificence of Pujara’s batting that he scored 96 runs in the final session on Day Three. Kohli then picked up his scoring rate and finished the day on 77 off 132 balls with eight fours. Pujara was batting on 135 off 221 balls with 18 fours. Their partnership is now worth 191 runs for the third wicket. The run-rate of the stand alone is 4.32. At the close of stumps, India were at 284 for two. They led South Africa by 320 runs.


Clearly the day belonged to India. The South African players’ shoulders had dropped quite a bit by the end of the day and that showed they were outplayed by MS Dhoni’s men. India still face a big task on Day Four, as the world’s No 1 Test side will not let them have it their way so easily. But for now, India are the team in dominance of the first Test and they have Pujara and Kohli to thank for that.


South Africa vs India — Live on Ten Cricket


Catch online live streaming of India vs South Africa Test series here


(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)


Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah


Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Rajasthan Royals won by 4 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kings XI Punjab won by 6 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 17, 2014  at Sharjah

Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 8 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 16, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 41 runs

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Australia Women won by 6 wkts


Delhi vs Bangalore match 2, IPL 2014 at Sharjah


Video Highlights: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders wickets

IPL Statistics and Records: IPL’s First

IPL 2014: Umpire Camera View creates latest buzz in tournament

IPL 7: Vintage Jacques Kallis showed his class for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2014: Capacity crowd at UAE provides glimpse of the T20 league’s huge following

BCCI Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils England India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders Lasith Malinga MS Dhoni Mumbai Indians Royal Challengers Bangalore Virat Kohli

Pakistan Cricket Board bring out strict eligibility rules for appointing coaches

Peter Moores set to become England coach

IPL 2014: Anjinkya Rahane says he was confident of overhauling Sunrisers Hyderabad’s target

Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2014, Match 6 Preview: Delhi search for first win

Rajasthan Royals open their IPL 2014 campaign with a nervy 4-wicket over Sunrisers Hyderabad

IPL 2014: Rajasthan Royals’ team composition vital for success

Kings XI Punjab’s local talent gives them an added dimension in IPL 2014

Former Australia PM Robert Menzies used cricket to win a case as a lawyer

Naoomal Jaoomal: The man who opened batting in India’s first ever Test

Sony launches ‘IPL Smart Earphone’ to filter crap commentary; calls endeavour CSR

Fan of the Day

Sudatta Mukherjee

Sudatta Mukherjee

1 Posts | 0 Fans

Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2014 Video Highlights

CUPS, a mobile application for unlimited coffee, launched

6.9-earthquake off PNG Bougainville: USGS

RR vs SRH, IPL 2014: Rajasthan Royals win by 4 wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad

11 possible causes of coughing up blood

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR), Score Update: Rajasthan win by 4 wickets

Why is Boman Irani happy for Jolly LLB’s National Film Award?

Kumar Vishwas booked in Amethi

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom’s camera sample surfaces online

Also on