Visakhapatnam: The pitch at the ACA-VDCA Stadium has started taking turn and the duo of R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have already shown signs of what the South African batsmen can expect in the remainder of the first Test as the duo had the Proteas batsmen huffing and puffing in the third session of the second day's play on Thursday. At stumps, South Africa's score read 39/3 with Dean Elgar (27) and Temba Bavuma (2) at the crease, still trailing by 463 runs.
With India skipper Virat Kohli declaring the innings at 502/7, the idea was to give the spinners a go before stumps to assess what the pitch has on offer and the duo of Ashwin and Jadeja didn't disappoint. While Ashwin finished with two wickets, Jadeja's figure read 1/21.
The Proteas lost three wickets in the 20 overs that they faced and the struggle was there for all to see as the experienced spinners not only got the odd ball to stay low, but also extracted decent turn from a second-day wicket. Not to forget the ones that jumped after hitting the cracks.
The South African batsmen looked to play attacking shots to try and unsettle the Indian spinners, but didn't have much success. The Indian pacers also complemented the spinners well and kept the pressure going as Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami kept hitting the right areas to not allow the batsmen to free their arms.
Earlier, it was all about the Indian openers carrying on from where they left on the opening day. If it was the Rohit Sharma show in the morning session, the afternoon session belonged to his opening partner Mayank Agarwal. Having played second fiddle till Rohit made hay, the youngster rose to the occasion after Rohit's dismissal to notch his first double hundred in Test cricket as the hapless Proteas bowlers went through the paces.
While Rohit hit a magnificent 176 (23 boundaries and six sixes), Mayank finished on 215. The duo added 317 runs for the opening wicket, becoming the third Indian opening pair to stitch a 300-run partnership.
The only silver lining in the dark clouds for the visitors was the four wickets they managed to pick in the post-lunch session as the first two sessions were otherwise completely dominated by India.
Cheteshwar Pujara (6), Kohli (20) and Test deputy Ajinkya Rahane (15) missed out as Keshav Maharaj finished with figures of 3/189 to be the most successful bowler for the visitors.
Mayank Agarwal c Dane Piedt b Dean Elgar 215
Rohit Sharma st Quinton de Kock b Keshav Maharaj 176
Cheteshwar Pujara b Vernon Philander 6
Virat Kohli c&b Senuran Muthusamy 20
Ajinkya Rahane c Temba Bavuma b Keshav Maharaj 15
Ravindra Jadeja Not Out 30
Hanuma Vihari c Dean Elgar b Keshav Maharaj 10
Wriddhiman Saha c Senuran Muthusamy b Dane Piedt 21
Ravichandran Ashwin Not Out 1
Extras 4b 1lb 2nb 0pen 1w 8
Total (136.0 overs): 502 decl
Fall of Wickets : 1-317 Sharma, 2-324 Pujara, 3-377 Kohli, 4-431 Rahane, 5-436 Agarwal, 6-457 Vihari, 7-494 Saha Did Not Bat : Sharma, Shami
Bowling: Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex
Vernon Philander 22 4 68 1 3.09
Kagiso Rabada 24 7 66 0 2.75
Keshav Maharaj 55 6 189 3 3.44 1nb
Dane Piedt 19 1 107 1 5.63
Senuran Muthusamy 15 1 63 1 4.20 1w 1nb
Dean Elgar 1 0 4 1 4.00
South Africa 1st innings:
Dean Elgar Not Out 27
Aiden Markram b Ravichandran Ashwin 5
Theunis de Bruyn c Wriddhiman Saha b Ravichandran Ashwin 4
Dane Piedt b Ravindra Jadeja 0
Temba Bavuma Not Out 2
Extras 0b 1lb 0nb 0pen 0w 1
Total (20.0 overs): 39-3
Fall of Wickets: 1-14 Markram, 2-31 de Bruyn, 3-34 Piedt To Bat : du Plessis, de Kock, Philander, Muthusamy, Maharaj, Rabada
Bowling: Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex
Ishant Sharma 2 0 8 0 4.00
Mohammed Shami 2 2 0 0 0.00
Ravichandran Ashwin 8 4 9 2 1.12
Ravindra Jadeja 8 1 21 1 2.62