Hardik Pandya has kept us in the game: Cheteshwar Pujara

Tomas Mccoy
January 9, 2018

Virat Kohli bemoaned India's inability to string partnerships together after they suffered a 72-run defeat to South Africa in an absorbing first Test. In the series against England, the South African pacer sustained a shoulder injury that kept him out for two Tests but he suffered a major setback when he broke his shoulder bone during the Perth Test against Australia which sidelined him for 13 months.

South Africa opener Elgar then nearly collected a pair when the hosts began their second innings, the left-hander pulling his first ball just out of reach of Mohammad Shami at mid-on having nicked off third delivery in his first knock at Newlands.

Rohit has scored runs in the last three Test matches that he has played, and he was batting well, even in the series against Sri Lanka. Twitter was in awe of Pandya, who once more stood out and went about his job when none of the premier Indian batsmen could.

He hasn't played many Test matches away from home, but this is the kind of innings (he played) we expected it from him if he played in the playing XI. But, they faced the same problems.

The top three had fallen with just 27 runs on the board in the first innings. "If we had taken our chances in the first innings, even after them counter-attacking, we could have kept them to 220".

Pandya then starred with the ball, having Aiden Markram (34) pouched at point and Elgar (25) caught behind as South Africa closed on 65-2, an advantage of 142, with Hashim Amla (2) and nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada (4) at the crease. To that effect, India had a numerically better start with Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay adding 30 for the first in the chase. They hoped to make a better opening partnership but in 16 runs Vijay was gone.

"Still feeling good about how we went about this Test match". So, in 73.4 overs team India got all out with their 209 runs in first innings. To lift themselves out of that mental hole, Kohli suggested that the batters would only need to look as far as the bowlers, who after letting South Africa off from 12 for 3 in the first innings, plugged all escape routes to bowl the hosts for 130 in their second innings.

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