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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Dec 26, 2013
Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay‘s partnership has helped India go into tea on Day One of the second Test against South Africa at 163 for one. Both batsmen have looked solid and have moved past their respective half-centuries to set a good platform for India.
Starting the session on 76 for one, India continued to be positive with Pujara and Vijay taking full control of proceedings. They were rarely troubled and took to any opportunity that came their way. That approach was tempered with caution as they were ready to leave anything probing outside the off-stump.
The South African bowlers continued to pitch it full and both batsmen were ready to drive. In fact, even if there was width, Vijay was ready to chase it and he got to his half-century in that manner. It was a a good exhibition of application from both batsmen as even Pujara drove with panache. The on-drive off Dale Steyn which went to the boundary was easily the highlight of the session. There was a phase where India slowed down, but they were quick to hit back.
Robin Peterson was given the role of containing the batsmen, but they tried to target him a few times. Pujara walked out to him and hit him through mid-wicket for a four. There were a few appeals of his bowling, but they were clearly not out.
For Vijay, it is an important innings as there was pressure on him. Many criticised him for his inconsistency, but he has shown good application and technique. The only risk he may have taken is when he chased one outside the off-stump and it flew over the slips for four. Pujara and Vijay moved past their 100-run stand.
India have been much more proactive after lunch and in all they scored 87 runs. The conditions remained overcast and the lights had come on by the time tea was taken. Steyn came into bowl as tea approach and troubled Vijay with a brilliant over. Pujara got to his fifty by gracefully driving Peterson through mid-off for a four.
India 163 for 1 (Murali Vijay 74*, Cheteshwar Pujara 55*; Morne Morkel 1 for 25) vs South Africa.
South Africa vs India — Live on Ten Cricket
Also on cricketcountry.com