IND vs SA: South Africa in driver’s seat after Dean Elgar’s unbeaten 140 on Day 2, take lead

Image Source : GETTY Dean Elgar smashed an unbeaten 140 as South Africa punished Indian bowlers on a wicket that got flatter and flatter as day progressed

South Africa extended their dominance over the ongoing Boxing Day Test against India with a smart, calculated and brilliant display of batting on the second day on Wednesday, December 27 to keep the visiting bowlers at bay for the most part. Dean Elgar, the former Proteas Test captain, who is playing his final series, like David Warner 10000 miles away, ensured that he would end on a high as he smashed his 14th century in the format and remained unbeaten on 140 at the stumps on the second day with South Africa taking a lead of 11 runs.

The day began with India adding 37 runs to their overnight score of 208 all thanks to KL Rahul playing probably his best knock in Test cricket, considering the situation he came in to bat and the conditions that were at his disposal. Rahul played aggressively and despite the wickets falling all around him, he adjusted to the lines and lengths well and played the ball to its merit. Rahul’s eighth Test ton guided India to 245, which by no means was a good score, but gave something to the bowlers to play with.

And with the surface flattening out in the second half on Wednesday with the ball not doing much off the pitch, it gave the South African batter the licence to kill and they punished the Indian bowlers. Mohammed Siraj started off the bowling innings on a strong note for India getting rid of Aiden Markram early but Dean Elgar held one end and just didn’t let it go.

Tony de Zorzi first and then David Bedingham made sure that India never came back into the game despite getting two quick wickets twice. Bedingham on his debut was probably the highlight of the day for South Africa as he looked so assured of his footwork, shotmaking and sheer defence that it didn’t look like he was making much effort.

Jasprit Bumrah with the wickets of de Zorzi and Keegan Petersen in consecutive overs did raise hopes of India’s comeback in the middle but Elgar’s chanceless knock poured cold water all over it. Elgar remained unbeaten on 140 while Marco Jansen was alongside him at the end of the day’s play. Bedingham’s defence was breached by Siraj’s inswinger and Prasidh Krishna got his maiden wicket in form of Kyle Verreynne but Elgar just didn’t let India get penetrative with an attack that lacked zip.

However, there’s always the next day and India will hope to keep South Africa under a lead of 50, given the hosts have effectively four wickets left if Temba Bavuma doesn’t bat.

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