India struggle without Virat Kohli


Modified Jan 4, 2022 12:02 AM IST

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India was bowled out for 202 by South Africa on the opening day of the second test in a troublesome start for the tourists after they also lost captain Virat Kohli to injury before the game started. KL Rahul stood in as captain with Kohli ruled out by an upper back spasm, and top-scored with 50 in Johannesburg on Tuesday. But South Africa’s quick bowlers had the better of the day at the Wanderers, with Marco Jansen taking 4-31 and Duanne Olivier and Kagiso Rabada three wickets each. South Africa was 35-1 at stumps and 167 runs behind. Aiden Markram was out lbw for 11 to Mohammed Shami, India’s best bowler of the series so far.

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Credits: PiPa News

India lead the three-match series 1-0 after a 113-run win in the first test in Centurion last week. That boosted top-ranked India’s hopes of finally cracking South Africa and securing a first test series win in the country on its eighth tour. But Kohli’s absence and the dominance of the South African quick bowlers on an opening day in Johannesburg dented those chances. India slipped to 53-3 in the first session after an initial breakthrough by Jansen and then two wickets in two balls from Olivier, who was recalled for his first test since February 2019.

Olivier had seemingly abandoned his international career to play for Yorkshire in English county cricket and said he framed his South Africa test cap as he doubted he’d ever use it again. With a new cap for his recall – so he didn’t have to break into his framed memorabilia – Olivier made an immediate impact on his return to remove Cheteshwar Pujara for 3 and Ajinkya Rahane first ball. Hanuma Vihari, in the team in place of Kohli, fell to Rabada for 20 after lunch and thanks to a one-handed grab by Rassie van der Dussen at short leg. Rahul went just before tea to a lofted hook shot and a diving catch by Rabada at square leg to leave India five down.

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Virat Kohli misses second South Africa Test with back spasm

South Africa’s pacers ran through the last five Indian wickets for 46 runs despite a counter of 46 from 50 balls by Ravichandran Ashwin. Before the game, India was emboldened by a strong record at the Wanderers, where it has never lost in five tests dating to 1992, and by its own impressive pace attack. Vihari in for Kohli was India’s only team change. South Africa made two changes. Olivier was recalled and Kyle Verreynne was in as wicketkeeper for Quinton de Kock.

KL Rahul talks about his maiden captaincy opportunity
Credits: RCB

De Kock was due to miss the rest of the series anyway for the birth of his first child but made a shock announcement at the end of the first test last week that he was retiring from test cricket at the age of 29. India captain Virat Kohli is absent from his country’s second Test against South Africa, which began on Monday, after suffering a back spasm. KL Rahul is leading India in his place, with Rohit Sharma – recently promoted as vice-captain ahead of Ajinkya Rahane – already missing this series through injury.

Hanuma Vihari replaced Kohli in the top six for India, who lead the Test series after winning the series opener at Centurion. “It’s a dream to captain your country, so I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Rahul, who won his first toss in the role and made a half-century on a lively pitch in Johannesburg as the tourists were bowled out for just 202. Meanwhile, Marco Jansen has earned his maiden ODI call-up ahead of the 50-over leg of the series. Jansen, the giant left-arm seamer, has impressed since making his international bow.