26 January 2018
With the Wanderers pitch becoming increasingly more difficult to bat on, the Indian lead of 59 is looking very healthy at the moment and it looks like the Proteas are set to chase a very uncomfortable total. The sideways movement off the seam together with variable bounce, cracks and balls “going through the top” makes it tough for batsmen to get in, let alone get runs on this pitch.
At the time of writing, India were on 66/3 after having lost the early wickets of Lokesh Rahul (16) and Chetashwar Pujara (1), both caught at second slip by Faf du Plessis off the bowling of Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel respectively. Murali Vijay (19) and Virat Kohli (4) were finding it very difficult in the middle against Philander, Morkel, and Kagiso Rabada. Kohli was dropped on 4 by Aiden Markram under the helmet at forward short leg although the Proteas opener didn’t have much of a chance as the ball was firmly struck and he had no time whatsoever to react. Morkel was the bowler. “Those either stick of they don’t” is what a typical commentator will tell you.
With the classy Kohli still at the crease, the visitors will want to get the lead as close to 200 as possible to give them a realistic chance of winning the final test of the series. The Proteas on the other hand, wouldn’t want to chase anything above 150 on this track.
The Proteas lead 2-0 after victories at Newlands and Centurion.