Early strikes put India in control
Early Strikes Put India in Control, South Africans Test Series. The hosts need to score 320 runs with eight wickets remaining on the last day to pull...
Johanesburg: The ODI drubbing seems to have crossed the minds of Team India. They have shown the wherewithal to take on the South Africans at their own game in the Test series.
India is sititng pretty at stumps on the fourth day of the first Test with the bowlers taking over the good work done by the batsmen earlier.
The hosts need to score 320 runs with eight wickets remaining on the last day to pull off an imporbable win.
Set a stiff target of 458 for victory after India scored 421 in their second innings, the hosts put up a better batting display to reach 138 for two at close on the penultimate day on Saturday on a Wanderers track which seemed to have eased out quite a bit.
Alviro Petersen (76 batting) and Faf du Plessis (10 batting) were at the crease at stumps on another absorbing day's play which has set the stage for a thrilling finish with all three results a possibility.
A South African victory looks remote at this stage as no team has ever successfully chased down a target of 458 in Test history so far. The highest successful run chase in Test cricket has been achieved by West Indies who scored 418 for seven to beat Australia in St Johns in 2003. Given the wicket conditions, Indians may find the going tough to push for a 1-0 series lead on the final day's play on Sunday, considering that the Proteas have a strong batting line-up.
The home team will look to bat out the entire day to avoid the embarrassment of a defeat in their backyard.
Resuming at the overnight score of 284 for two, the Indians rode on the marathon 222-run partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara (153) and Virat Kohli (96).
The 222-run partnership was the highest stand for third wicket in a Test match second innings overseas. They bettered the long-standing record of 211 runs for the third wicket between Vinoo Mankad and Vijay Hazare at Lord's in 1952.
Brief scores: South Africa 244 and 138 for 2 (Petersen 76not out) vs India 280 and 421 (Pujara 153, Kohli 96, V Philander 3/68, J Kallis 3/68)
22 Jan 2020 4:47 AM GMT