Fast bowlers rattle India in second Test to put South Africa in driver's seat

Proteas bowl visitors out for 202 on opening day of Johannesburg clash

South Africa enjoyed a near-perfect day in the field as their fast bowlers made the most of a responsive Wanderers pitch in the second Test against India.

Left-arm seamer Marco Jansen — playing just his second Test — took 4-31, while fellow quicks Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier picked up three each to help the Proteas bundle out the visitors for 202 in Johannesburg on Monday.

The Indians were on the back foot before the toss when captain Virat Kohli was ruled out of the match with upper back strain. KL Rahul was named captain for the Test, and scored a composed fifty against a rampant South African attack.

Rahul kept the hosts at bay in the morning session before being dismissed for 50. The opener looked organised for most of the innings before a stray shot saw him caught at fine leg by a diving Kagiso Rabada off the bowling of Jansen.

It proved the big wicket of the second session for the home team.

Olivier took two wickets in two balls before lunch with Cheteshwar Pujara caught off a top edge for three followed by Ajinkya Rahane, out first ball as he was caught by Keegan Petersen at second slip.

Olivier, 29, was returning to Test cricket for the first time in almost three years, having exploded on to the scene in 2017 and snagging 48 wickets in 10 Tests at an average below 20. However, he then took up a Kolpak contract with English county Yorkshire, suspending his South Africa career.

After returning home when the Kolpak system fell away due to the UK's exit from the European Union, Olivier finished the top wicket-taker in the domestic four-day competition and won back a Test place.

After lunch, Rahul and Hanuma Vihari, who replaced Kohli, put together a 42-run partnership before Vihari was caught at short leg by a flying one-handed catch by Rassie van der Dussen off Rabada.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin decided attack was the best form of defence as he hit a quick 46 off 50 balls, which was instrumental in India reaching 200. But in the end, South Africa held the upper hand. Rabada and Olivier finished with identical figures of 3-64.

South Africa again made a poor start, with Aiden Markram falling leg before wicket to Mohammed Shami for seven in the fourth over.

Home captain Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen took the score to 35-1 at stumps, after the latter was dropped by wicketkeeper Risabh Pant off Jasprit Bumrah when he had 12.

There was a further problem for the Indians when Mohammed Siraj left the field clutching his right hamstring after bowling the fifth ball of the penultimate over of the day.

Updated: January 3rd 2022, 4:31 PM