Rabada gets three as South Africa restrict India in third test

KL Rahul India

South Africa will on Tuesday hand a fitness test to in-form opening batsman Aiden Markram, who injured his thigh in the second Test. Ten years before that, India bowled the hosts out for 84 and recorded their first of only two wins in South Africa and du Plessis seems to be wary that his line-up could get into similar trouble. India openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay struggled against the pace and movement - with overcast conditions overhead exacerbating the challenge. The latter kept his place in the side at the Wanderers but his performance on Wednesday did little to justify that decision.

A 3-0 series victory would not see South Africa take over from India at the top of the InternationalCricket Council's rankings, but would move them to within decimal points of doing so. He opened his scoring in the 54th delivery he faced - a clip towards square leg for a single off paceman Lungi Ngidi.

India was off to a bumpy start with Vernon Philander seaming one back and finding K.L. Rahul's inside edge. Overhead conditions and a seam friendly pitch made batting very hard but Kohli wasn't ready to get bogged down, even if it meant giving the South Africa bowlers few chances. He was let-off first by Philander off the bowling of Rabada before AB De Villiers dropped a sitter at third slip.

He had a slice of early luck when given not out after Ngidi struck him on the pads.

WICKET! Andile Phehlukwayo removes Cheteshwar Pujara for fifty runs as India lose another wicket. India have now lost both the openers. IND 13/2.

After Pujara's marathon knock was ended by Phehlukwayo, India's lower middle-order crumbled under constant pressure by the pacers.

Given the tale of the surface - as can be made out from historic scorecards, and from the curator's "green mamba" comment, one begs to ask the ICC if they rate the surface as fair - for it renders useless (and completely eliminates) one essential ingredient - that of spin bowling. Morkel has trapped him in front of the wickets.

Only a last-minute shift in thinking might prompt the side to field an extra batsman in Rohit Sharma for Pandya or one of the pacemen.

All of a sudden, Indian went from 144-4 to 144-7. "It was our errors, our mistakes of not capitalising on situations that led us to the result being 2-0 so far", he added. He showed some good application once again at the Wanderers with a robust innings. His first run was met with wild cheers by the Johannesburg crowd and the batsman himself was smiling; as were the India dressing room. He feels that a few quick wickets on day two will pull India right back in to the game.

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