India vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 2: Spinners leave host in command

South Africa, at stumps on Day Two, is 39 for 3 in its first innings, replying to India's mammoth 502 for 7 declared.

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Mayank Agarwal now holds the highest individual score in Tests this year, beating Steve Smith's 211.   -  K.R. Deepak

Good morning and welcome to the live updates from day two of the first Test between India and South Africa in Visakhapatnam.

 

Mayank Agarwal, the man with the double-century, leads his team into the dressing room. India now finds itself in a commanding position, with a huge total on the board and three early South African wickets.

Much responsibility will be on Temba Bavuma and the rest of the middle order to play through the day on Friday, but the situation is already bleak for the Proteas, especially with the control and authority exuded by the spinners today.

Still, there could be further twists and turns. Perhaps an innings of graft. Perhaps a bit of a comeback. Perhaps a magnificent spell. Join us for Day Three, on Friday. Until then, it's goodbye.

5.17 pm: Jadeja bowls accurately, Elgar defends safely. It's the end of the day's play. South Africa 39 for 2 after 20 overs in the innings. It's been a fruitful hour and a half for India, thanks to Ashwin and Jadeja.

Last over of the day.

5.16 pm: Bavuma, off Ashwin, punches a delivery off the back-foot to pick up a couple of runs. It opens his account.

Bavuma nearly departs, too, as he turns a delivery straight to the short-leg fielder in Hanuma Vihari, who spills it. It was a tough chance.

5.10 pm: Dane Piedt, the nightwatchman, fails to negotiate an arm ball from Jadeja, and the ball sneaks in past his defences to get him bowled. He goes for a duck. South Africa three down now. Temba Bavuma is the new batsman.

5.07 pm: Ashwin provides India its second breakthrough. de Bruyn gets an under-edge off a delivery that stayed low. He is caught behind; he started walking off immediately as the Indians started appealing. He departs for 4. 31 for 2.

5.04 pm: Elgar drives Jadeja and picks up a couple. One of the deliveries in the over stays low. But no damage done.

5.01 pm: Ashwin mixes it up again, to Elgar. Elgar lets out a smile after defending a quicker delivery, immediately after facing a delivery that was floated up. Extra half hour will be taken.

4.57 pm: An accurate, uneventful over from Jadeja. Elgar turns one to leg for a single. 28 for 1. Five more overs left for the day.

4.55 pm: Mohammed Shami bowls a maiden first over. He bowls back-of-a-length mostly, and finishes his over with a delivery that passes the off-stump through to the wicketkeeper by not much. de Bruyn had left that one — safely, but only just.

4.50 pm: Ashwin mixes it up in this over, bowling quick and flat on occasions, and floating it up as well. Elgar takes no chance.

4.46 pm: Elgar steps out again and lofts Jadeja to long-off for the first six of the innings. It was neatly struck. Then, he turns a delivery to leg for a single. Seven runs from Jadeja's fourth over. 27 for 1.

4.41 pm: Elgar survives a scare, too, as he looks to be enterprising and comes down the track to Jadeja. He squirts a delivery to the vacant cover-point region.

de Bruyn plays Ashwin more assuredly in this next over. 10 overs up, it's 20 for 1.

4.37 pm: Theunis de Bruyn, the new batsman, survives a scare as Ashwin gets a delivery to turn into him and hit him on the pads. Bruyn, playing off the backfoot, looks trapped, but the ball is deemed to have struck him outside the off-stump. The review isn't taken.

de Bruyn responds by playing a reverse-sweep off the final ball of the over and collecting a boundary through third man.

4.33 pm: Markram tries to defend a full, off-spinning delivery from Ashwin. The ball goes through his defence and he is bowled. Ashwin gives India the first wicket. 14/1

4.31 pm: A mix-up between the batsmen. Both run to the middle of the pitch and then back. But Markram puts in the dive and survives.

4.38 pm: Ishant is replaced by Ravindra Jadeja, who begins his spell by offering a short delivery to Markram, who duly collects a boundary through the point region.

Another probing over from Ashwin. He goes round the wicket to Elgar, and after a single is taken, over the wicket to Markram. The trajectory is flat and the ball seems to be coming out quick.

4.23 pm: R. Ashwin bowls a probing first over. Attempting to drive, Aiden Markram misses the ball and nearly falls over; thankfully, for him, no damage was done as the ball went over the stumps through to the wicketkeeper, and his feet were inside the crease. Ashwin foxes Elgar, too, but with a drifter; Elgar carefully defends the ball at the last moment, when it angled into him. A single is taken by Markram in the middle of the over. 9/0

4.19 pm: Another over spoilt by a loose offering from Ishant. After five dot balls, Ishant strays down the leg side and pays the price; Elgar tucks the ball fine for a boundary.

For this over, Ishant had switched to round the wicket, perhaps to make the batsman drive. He succeeded on one instance; Elgar bent his knees and wafted at a delivery far away from his body, but didn't tickle it. 8/0

4.10 pm: An accurate, probing first over from Ishant Sharma to Dean Elgar, barring a loose fifth delivery of the over bowled to leg. Elgar pounced on that opportunity and helped the ball to fine leg for a boundary, the first runs for Elgar and for South Africa.

For the rest of the over, Elgar plays carefully as Ishant gets the ball to move away from the batsman — in the corridor — a few times. 4/0

Tired openers, hungry bowlers. A tough hour or so for South Africa to negotiate.

INDIA 502/7 | India declares! So India crosses the 500-run mark and Virat Kohli signals the declaration, calls his players back. 19 overs left on Day Two. Can South Africa negotiate them safely?

494/7 South Africa gets the seventh wickets as Saha falls. That was straight to the deep wicket midfielder and Muthusamy didn't have to move an inch to gather the catch. A pretty cheap dismissal. Ravichandran Ashwin comes in next.

457/6 Hanuma Vihari holes out at long-off off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj. Out for 10, Wriddhiman Saha is the new batsman in.

TEA End of a long second session as India goes to tea at 450/5. Vihari 8*, Jadeja 6* unbeaten at the crease.

2:24pm: More spin from South Africa as left-arm spinner Dean Elgar is introduced into the attack. Can he get a breakthrough? As if he heard us as Elgar gets the wicket of a well-set Mayank Agarwal for 215, caught at deep midwicket by Dane Piedt. India 439/5.

2:22pm: Keshav Maharaj strikes with the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane (15). Sets him up with a tossed up ball and the right-handed batsman plays it straight to the short cover fielder. The trap really worked. Ravindra Jadeja is the new batsman in. India 431/4.

I second with Ayan Acharya -

 

2:08pm: Mayank takes two runs and gets to his maiden double hundred off 358 balls. Terrific innings this has been from the Karnataka batsman. Can he go on to convert it to a triple?

377/3 in 103.1 overs Did we jinx Kohli?! Right after we said that, Kohli is dismissed! Caught and bowled by Senuran Muthusamy. Length ball that's turning and the skipper sends an easy lob back to the bowler. That is also Muthusamy's maiden Test wicket and he will never forget that. Ajinkya Rahane in next for India.

 

377/2 in 103 overs Kohli has settled in well but is content at playing second fiddle to Mayank, who has picked up the pace a bit the last few overs. In the last over, he smashed Keshav down the ground and into the sightscreen two balls after sending the ball to the long-off boundary. He is five runs short of Rohit's score and looks comfortably set to go past.

STAT This is the fourth time that both Indian openers have scored 150 or more. Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan have done it twice while Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy have done it once.

351/2 in 96.3 overs Short of length delivery and Mayank sends it to the fine leg boundary. That's four runs and 150 for Mayank Agarwal. Off 294 balls; 18x4, 3x6. Raises his bat towards the dressing room and the crowd as captain Kohli congratulates him. With that, India also goes past the 350 mark.

Ayan Acharya from Vizag updates: Tea will be taken at 2:40 pm instead of the usual scheduled break at 2:10 p.m. to make up for the wash out of the third session yesterday.

324/2 in 88.1 overs First ball after lunch and India loses its second wicket. Perfect outswinger from Philander and the off stump goes flying. Pujara walks and Virat Kohli comes in next.

324/1 in 88 overs The first session comes to an end and we break for lunch. India built on yesterday's platform with Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal taking India past the 300 run mark. After dropping Rohit on 125, Quinton de Kock made amends to stump him out and get the much needed breakthrough for the visitor. Pujara has come in and has looked good so far. Can South Africa get a few more wickets in the second session or will it continue to toil till Virat Kohli declares? We'll find out soon. Back in 40 minutes for the next session.

323/1 in 84 overs Cheteshwar Pujara walked in after Rohit's dismissal and now South Africa has taken a new ball. Philander to bowl and he will be hoping for better luck with the new ball today.

317/1 in 82 overs South Africa gets the breakthrough and Rohit Sharma walks back after being dismissed on 176 off 244 balls (23x4 and 6x6.)

Keshav Maharaj breaks the partnership. The opener, on the front foot to drive, is beaten by the turn and flight. de Kock gathers the balls and dislodges the bails. He makes amends for dropping him on 125 off Philander. Crucial wicket for the Proteas. Rohit, by the way, falls one run short of his highest Test score.

300/0 in 79.5 overs That's the 300 mark for India. And the opening pair. Mayank drives Keshav to long on, takes the run and there's a uge cheer around the stadium. The batsmen silently fist bump each other and go back to their positions. More to come, definitely.

290/0 in 77.3 overs With the way the match is going, all we can do it bring you the stats as they are set or broken. And now, Rohit and Mayank have set the highest partnership for any wicket against South Africa. They have broken Dravid and Sehwag's 268 set in Chennai in 2008.

265/0 in 75.1 overs | Rohit Sharma gets to 150! Sends a short ball down the leg to deep backward square, runs across the pitch and takes in the plaudits. This has been a well-worked innings from India's newest Test opener. Has he answered his doubters? Well, maybe not. Questions will be asked of him always but for the moment, he can do no wrong and is looking in fine form. As our reporter Ayan said, it is only a question of how long India wants to bat.

Ayan Acharya from Vizag says: So what does South Africa do, really? There's variable bounce, with a couple of Philander deliveries keeping low in the morning. Apart from that, Rohit and Mayank are hitting the day lights out of this Protean attack. The fielding has been sloppy, shoulders are dropping and the ball is disappearing to the fence. It's now a question of how long India wants to bat.

264/0 in 75 overs Senuran Muthusamy is introduced and Mayank welcomes his cautiously. With Dane Piedt being hit across the ground yesterday, no surprise he hasn't been asked to bowl yet and the lack of variation — and with little help from the pitch — isn't helping the South African bowlers here. By the way, this is now the highest opening partnership in Tests between India and South Africa, surpassing the 236 set by Gary Kirsten and Andrew Hudson.

245/0 in 71 overs Rohit and Mayank are looking comfortable now. Kagiso Rabada's introduction doesn't change the momentum. They've been rotating the strike well ánd not taking risks with their shots, which doesn't help South Africa in its hunt for the opening wicket. India's biggest Test opening stand is 410 between Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag, set at Lahore in 2006. Can that be chased down by this pair?

 

10:06 am That will be it as Mayank Agarwal slams his maiden Test hundred. He also became the 86th Indian batsman to score a century in Test cricket. What a moment after the hard work and runs scored in domestic cricket! India 240/0.

STAT This is now India's highest opening stand against South Africa in Tests. They have gone past Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag's stand of 218 set in 2004.

100

This is now India's highest opening stand against South Africa in Tests.   -  PTI

 

219/0 in 63.3 overs Rohit DROPPED! A length delivery from Philander and Rohit edges it. Quinton de Kock, up at the stumps, can't get pick up the outside edge. Grazes his gloves. First big chance for South Africa.

214/0 in 63 overs Philander and Keshav the bowling pair for South Africa and, like yesterday, aren't troubling the bastmen here. The pitch is not helping either, as expected. The ball is also 63 overs old, so the bowlers' struggles are understandable.

206/0 in 59.2 overs Delivery to the pads and Rohit sends the ball racing past the boundary line. Keshav Maharaj did his best but the outfield is quick. Four runs.

202/0 in 59.1 overs Vernon Philander with the first ball today too. Centurion Rohit Sharma nudges the length ball to legside.

Here we go. The players are out and we'll have the first ball of day two soon. In case you forgot, Mayank Agarwal is 16 runs short of his first Test hundred, also his first ton at home. Will he get there? We'll find out.

9:12am: It was a good toss to win for India and made the most of the track on day one with no turn for the three Proteas spinners. If the wicket continues to play in the similar fashion then the South Africans have to pull something out of the hat to keep India in check, or else no stopping the home side to put up in excess of 500.

 

8:39am: Our reporter, Ayan Acharya says it is overcast in Vizag.

 

Day 1 preview: After two sessions of action, the third and session on day one was called off because of heavy rain. After India won the toss and opting to bat, Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma stole the show with their 202 runs unbeaten stand. Rohit, scored a brilliant hundred on his debut as Test opener, while Mayank remained unbeaten on 84. Read the Day 1 report by Ayan Acharya.