As Ravichandran Ashwin Wreaks South Africa, Twitter Celebrates

Virat Kohli Shikhar dhawan wriddhiman saha

At the end of the day, the Proteas were 269/6.

Brief scores: South Africa 1st innings: 335 all out in 113.5 overs (Markram 94, Du Plessis 63, Amla 82; Ashwin 4/13, Ishant 3/46).

Both of those knocks oozed quality and the Indian bowlers - particularly the seamers - were made to toil on a day that saw temperatures rising to the mid-30s.

The batting great expressed disappointment at the exclusion of Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second Test despite being the only positive for the team in their 72-run loss in the first Test last week.

Du Plessis, later, missed the line of an Ishant delivery as the ball crashed his stumps to fall the ninth wicket of the hosts.

In the 24th over, Elgar survived a review from India for a caught behind as the bat had hit the pad but Markram looked extremely confident as he reached his second half-century with two more fours.

Dean Elgar, after surviving a testing period against Ishant Sharma, had established a strong opening stand along with Markram as India went wicketless in the opening session. Overall, he faced 150 balls and hit 15 fours.

Markram's timing was crisp, and in front of his parents and his home crowd in his city of birth, he looked like he could bat all day. They were also forced to replace Wriddhiman Saha with Parthiv Patel as the Bengal wicketkeeper-batsman had sustained a hamstring niggle.

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He would have wanted to kick himself, though, having cut well against Ashwin all day before getting one wrong.

Nearly all the South Africa batsmen got starts, with only Dean Elgar (31) and AB de Villiers (20) failing to convert them into a big ones and Quinton de Kock getting out for a duck.

India made two other changes.

Hardik Pandya (0-20) came on to bowl in the 13th over.

Markram and Amla though, continued unruffled, and looked nearly immovable when Ashwin struck again, getting a snick off Markram that Parthiv held on to well to end the second-wicket stand at 63 runs. Du Plessis, though, set off for the quick single.

Pandya atoned in fine style, albeit with Amla having added 68 runs to his score by that point, when he sprinted down the wicket and shattered the stumps at the bowler's end with a dead-eye throw.

The second new ball was due but Indian captain Virat Kohli persisted with Ashwin and was rewarded when De Kock edged Ashwin to Kohli at slip to be out first ball.

Pandya went short at Vernon Philander, who didn't look comfortable but somehow fended it off to a heavily-packed on-side field. If he had, he would have seen that Du Plessis was not moving an inch and was asking him to go back. After India's humiliating failure to grab victory in the first Test against the Proteas side, Kohli was heavily criticized.

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