Virat Kohli departed for a gritty 41 © AFP
Virat Kohli departed for a gritty 41 © AFP

In what is clearly a ‘spicy’ track at Johannesburg, India have edged past South Africa before tea on Day Three of the final Test. The overall lead stands at 192 runs, with Ajinkya Rahane leading charge post Virat Kohli‘s departure. India lost 2 wickets in the second session, but looked positive to carry on despite frequent umpires’ discussions about the consequences of the pitch.

India resumed with Kohli and Rahane in the middle. Rahane couldn’t live upto the hype surrounding his comeback on Day One. He was in for a bigger challenge on a turf producing extra pace and all sorts of bounce from time to time. Nonetheless, he looked equally determined to battle hard with Kohli. Kohli, meanwhile, surpassed MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly, Mohammed Azharuddin and Sunil Gavaskar to become the leading run-scorer as the country’s Test captain.

Kohli, however, fell to Kagiso Rabada on 41. He ensured the lead stretch near 150. Rahane lost Hardik Pandya soon, but pounced on the (few) loose deliveries on offer. As the lead surpassed 175, Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took their chances and were assisted by sloppy fielding.

The damage has already been done for South Africa. Chasing anything over 200 would be a stiff task. Credit goes to Indian batsmen — Murali Vijay, Kohli, Rahane and Bhuvneshwar — to stick around and find ways to score runs.

Brief scores

India 187 & 199 for 6 (Murali Vijay 25, Virat Kohli 41, Ajinkya Rahane 46*; Kagiso Rabada 3 for 59, Vernon Philander 2 for 44) lead South Africa 194 (Kagiso Rabada 30, Hashim Amla 61, Vernon Philander 35; Jasprit Bumrah 5 for 54, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3 for 44) by 192 runs.