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India were about to play an all-seam attack, reveals R Ashwin

14 January 2018

India has scored four runs for the loss of no wicket in heir first innings till lunch. India vs South Africa, 2nd Test, Day 2 Shami, 27, had taken his 97th, 98th and 99th wickets in Cape Town and got to the landmark of 100 when he dismissed during the first session of play at SuperSport Park on Saturday.

South Africa again opted for a four-pronged pace attack, picking new cap Lungi Ngidi in place of the injured Dale Steyn. By tea, he had hit six fours and played the lead role in an unbroken partnership of 52 with Murali Vijay, who was 31 not out.

South Africa profited with what could be crucial first innings runs through this period, before Rabada was superbly caught by, ironically, Pandya at deep mid-wicket as he attempted a hook off the excellent Ishant Sharma (3-46). One such shot - a checked push rather than a full-blooded drive - brought him a boundary off only the fourth ball he faced, and he drove Morne Morkel for another boundary next ball, between the bowler and mid-on. A rash of missed chances frustrated India somewhat during a 42-run eighth-wicket stand between du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada, but they created enough chances in an improved bowling performance for the let-offs to not cost them too much.

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Those strikes went a long way in turning a day of toil into a position of parity for India, and lifted their mood after two sessions of largely ineffective bowling barring R Ashwin's two wickets.

As a collective, India's fast bowlers were far more consistent on the second morning than they had been on day one.

Du Plessis held up India, although the tourists will still be positive after restricting the South Africans to less than 350 on a seemingly good batting pitch.

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Ashwin then induced a thin edge off Du Plessis that was spilled by Parthiv as the frustration grew for the visitors.

The end may have come quicker, with Rabada dropped off successive Ashwin deliveries when South Africa was 289-7. He survived a half-chance to Hardik Pandya at short midwicket off Ashwin on 14 and a diving catch to Patel when he glanced Ishant Sharma to the wicketkeeper's left with his score on 30, but then played with authority.

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India were about to play an all-seam attack, reveals R Ashwin