Johannesburg – KL Rahul, captaining India in the absence of Virat Kohli, made a patient half-century as his team struggled on the first day of the second Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Monday.
India were 146 for five at tea after Rahul won the toss and decided to bat on a pitch which offered the bowlers high bounce and some sideways movement.
Kohli was a late withdrawal because of what Rahul said was an upper back spasm.
Rahul, who hit a century and was man of the match in India’s win in the first Test in Centurion, saw four of his teammates perish before he was fifth man out, top-edging a pull shot against left-arm fast bowler Marco Jansen to be caught by a diving Kagiso Rabada at long leg. He made 50 off 133 balls with nine fours.
Rahul and Mayank Agarwal gave India a solid start, scoring 36 runs in the first hour before Agarwal was caught behind off Jansen immediately after the mid-morning drinks break.
Jansen had figures of two for 18 off 12 overs, while Duanne Olivier, who dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane off successive balls, had two for 47.
The series is being played without spectators, apart from media and some private suite-holders, because of coronavirus protocols.
Picture: Getty Images