India need regular breakthroughs after lunch    AFP
India need regular breakthroughs after lunch AFP

After much deliberation over the pitch, the third and final Test resumed at Johannesburg. At lunch on the penultimate day, South Africa are 69 for 1, needing another 172 to whitewash the series. The India bowlers pitched slightly fuller than they did yesterday and often deceived the batsmen. However, they are yet to earn a breakthrough and will have to press harder after the break.

Hashim Amla looked confident as ever, while Dean Elgar was determined to put a price on his scalp despite being rusty. He was beaten outside off several times and faced problems due to the extra bounce generated by Jasprit Bumrah. Mohammed Shami gave few loose deliveries. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also posed questions, but has found the going tough.

Meanwhile, crowds took a special liking for Ishant Sharma. He has already gone unsold in the ongoing IPL auction, and looked pumped up. Nonetheless, the spectators were singing “he bowls to the right, he bowls to the left, this Ishant Sharma, his bowling is s*ite.”

India would be well aware to bowl with much discipline and inject regular breakthroughs. With strokeplayers like AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock, along with Faf du Plessis and Vernon Philander, yet to come, the visitors will feel the heat when the target is less than 100.

Brief scores

India 187 and 247 (Murali Vijay 25, Virat Kohli 41, Ajinkya Rahane 48, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 33; Vernon Philander 3 for 61, Kagiso Rabada 3 for 69, Morne Morkel 3 for 47) lead South Africa 194 and 69 for 1 (Dean Elgar 29*, Hashim Amla 27*, Mohammed Shami 1 for 15) by 172 runs.