India lost the first Test match at Cape Town by 72 runs when they were bowled out 135 chasing 209.
Cruising at 246/3, the Proteas then wobbled with two suicidal runouts plaguing what had been an impressive day at the office up until then. At least two batting positions will be debated as the tourists seek a way to play themselves back into the three-Test series. Ravichandran Ashwin returned with figures of 4/113 and Ishant Sharma had 3/46 from 22 quality overs. "He's a quality player, he's done well in South Africa, all conditions actually away from home".
Heading into the match tomorrow, South Africa will aim to wrap the three-match Test series.
Du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj prevented further damage from being done, but they will return to the crease on Sunday morning with work to do.
South Africa have handed a debut to tall seamer Lungi Ngidi regarded as a hugely promising talent who will expect to get steep bounce at a brisk pace on his home pitch in provincial cricket.
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Explaining what he meant by 'intent, ' Kohli replied, "Intent doesn't really mean playing shots from ball one". Elgar struggled throughout his innings, lacking rhythm and timing, but was just starting to look settled when one from Ashwin, turned and bounced deceiving the left-hander who was caught between wanting drive and defend, ultimately did neither providing Murali Vijay with a simple catch at silly point after making 31.
When Markram edged Ashwin to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps, he had put on 63 for the second wicket with Amla. An alternative approach of letting Ashwin bowl form one end won't be out of the question owing to the assistance he is getting from the surface.
Kagiso Rabada (11) hooked a rising delivery from Ishant Sharma for a catch to Hardik Pandya who had to run forward from deep square leg. Here he was in Centurion, as Virat Kohli threw the ball to him after just about an hour into the day's play. He has four centuries and a double-century at Centurion and was on course to add to that when du Plessis called him through for a quick single and Pandya pounced brilliantly. Shortly after de Kock succumbed to Ashwin and then Philander ran himself out to give the tourists the upper hand.
With Markram going well, South Africa was 78-0 at lunch and 182-2 at tea after du Plessis won the toss and said it was an easy decision to bat first. Save a last-minute development, KL Rahul (top right) and Parthiv Patel are nearly certain to feature, and the chances of Ajinkya Rahane (far right) look bleak.
Du Plessis meanwhile was being asked tough questions.