New Delhi: Indian skipper Virat Kohli and opener Murali Vijay steadied the ship with a 52-run stand for the third wicket, taking the hosts to 80/2 at tea on Day 2 in Centurion.
Chasing South Africa’s first innings total of 355 runs, India lost KL Rahul (10) and Cheteshwar Pujara (0) cheaply before Kohli joined Vijay in the middle to take India out of trouble. India still trail the hosts by 255 runs.
Rahul looked rusty, in particular against Morne Morkel and ended up returning a catch which the pacer grabbed diving without making any mistake.
Pujara followed Rahul back to the pavilion on the very next ball as he set up a suicidal run and failed to beat Lungi Ngidi’s throw from mid-on.
However, Kohli looked in good touch right from the start with flurry of boundaries and quickly outscore Vijay.
Earlier, India bowled out South Africa for 335 in their first innings before reaching 4/0 at lunch on Day 2 at the Supersport Park in Centurion on Sunday.
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis registered his 17th Test fifty as the hosts added 66 runs to their overnight score of 269/6.
The Protea skipper did not get a convincing support from the other end as Mohammed Shami got rid of Keshav Maharaj early in the morning and later Ishant Shram and Ashwin sent remaining back to pavilion at the stroke of lunch.
Shami got to his 100th Test wicket. He achieved this feat in his 29th Test for India, Kapil Dev and Irfan Pathan are the only two Indian pacers to reach this mark in fewer games than the 27-year-old