South Africa vs India, 2nd Test, Day 4

R Ashwin was at his effective best on Day 1 of the second Test between India and South Africa in Centurion snapping up three important wickets

Despite Kohli's efforts, South Africa had a first-innings lead of 28. South Africa is already leading the series by 1-0, thanks to their aggressive strokes at Newlands but Morkel was able to return with figures of 4/60 in first innings of the second test as well.

The Titans star troubled Kohli more than any of the other South African bowlers which is a testimony on its own, coming close to getting him leg before wicket on a couple of occasions and beating the outside edge as well. Dean Elgar was batting on 36 and AB de Villers on 50. "If we get early wickets tomorrow, the match can be in anybody's favour". Bumrah got a nick from Elgar's blade, but Parthiv Patel didn't even attempt for the catch. The paceman nearly yorked de Villiers first ball.

Say what you will, and there is a bit to be said, about Virat Kohli's technical and mental errors on pitches with pace and movement, but it is equally his mental strength that he doesn't let this bridge bother the rest of his walk.

It was the India captain's fourth Test century in his last seven Test innings.

The Indian captain still very much believes his team can win this Test, but he will feel that like his own, De Villiers's wicket is the key to unlocking the door to that victory.

In a model of concentration, good judgement and occasional breathtaking strokes, Kohli batted for 380 minutes, faced 217 balls and hit 15 fours.

Virat Kohli also became the second Indian captain to score a test hundred in South Africa. Tendulkar's 169 in Cape Town in 1997 was the first.

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AB de Villiers (50 not out) has taken the attack to the Indian bowlers after South Africa had sunk to three for two in their second innings on a wicket that is more Pune than Pretoria, with variable bounce and taking massive turn for the spinners.

Kohli forged a crucial 71-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Ravichandran Ashwin (38) to stabilise the innings.

He had set off for a run in the 68th over, only for Kohli to send him back but Philander's throw from mid-on beat him by inches as Pandya didn't ground his bat or even his feet.

The home team had resumed on 269/6 with the lower order seeking to atone after a disastrous last 40 minutes on Saturday had seen the Proteas lose three wickets for five runs in just 13 balls.

But Kohli's knock in the context of the game can not be more emphasized. He stamped his authority over the Proteas bowlers and kept on punishing the bad balls. But after a few edgy strokes, Ashwin overcame the threat of bounce and played on the up.

While the struggle happened at one end, Kohli found a way to express himself. He would play a similar shot in Philander's next over too, but by then India had lost two more wickets; Ashwin drove away from his body and nicked a Philander outswinger to second slip, and Mohammed Shami edged a steeply bouncing Morne Morkel delivery to first slip. First Rahul was caught and bowled by Morkel and then one of their key batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara, was run out by a brilliant direct hit from debutant Lungi Ngidi, who only had one stump to aim at from a position on his knees.

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