By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Dec 27, 2013
India went into lunch on Day One of the second Test against South Africa at 76 for one. The track at Kingsmead, Durban has looked good for batting so far and at lunch, Murali Vijay (33) and Cheteshwar Pujara (13) are the unbeaten batsmen.
India won the toss and chose to bat. The tourists made one change to their line-up as Ravindra Jadeja replaced Ravichandran Ashwin. The whole talk about this inclusion has been the fact that Jadeja can bat, plus, they needed someone who could turn the ball away from the South African right-handers. On the other hand, South Africa too brought in their left-arm spinner Robin Peterson in place of Imran Tahir. Morne Morkel made a superb recovery after the ankle injury in the first Test.
Early in the day, Shikhar Dhawan looked in fantastic touch. He started off with a lovely straight drive as he merely punched the ball down the ground for four. Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn strayed on Dhawan’s pads a few times and he worked them away with all timing through mid-wicket. Meanwhile, Vijay was quite patient and took his time to get set. He too punished anything that was pitched in his half with all timing.
While Steyn and Philander weren’t troubling the Indian batsmen a lot, Morkel came in and purchased bounce immediately. He kept beating the bat and had the combative Dhawan in a bit of trouble. Ultimately, it was that persistence that helped Morkel as Dhawan was dismissed soon after drinks. Morkel changed his angle and came from round the wicket. Dhawan fished at that and edged it to Alviro Petersen at third-slip.
Pujara then walked in at No 3 and looked in decent touch. In the company of Vijay, they patiently took on the South African bowlers. Some of the shots that stood out were nice cover-drives for fours as they merely timed it. Jacques Kallis too came into the attack as the crowd cheered him for it is his final Test match.
Peterson came onto bowl later and his first ball was a full toss which was dispatched to the mid-wicket boundary by Vijay. He was later driven through the covers for a four by Vijay.
India 76 for 1 (Shikhar Dhawan 29, Murali Vijay 33*, Cheteshwar Pujara 13*; Morne Morkel 1 for 14) vs South Africa.
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