Conditions on day 2 of the third and final Test match between South Africa and India at the Wanderers were still favorable for the seam bowlers, as a total of 10 wickets fell in the days play.
South Africa resumed the day on 6/1 and added just 10 runs to their overnight score, before Dean Elgar edged behind for four, giving Bhuvneshwar Kumar his second wicket.
Night-watchman Kagiso Rabada was then joined by Hashim Amla, and the pair valiantly toughed out the hostile conditions, wearing body blows in the process in a partnership that produced 64 runs. The fast bowler contributing a valuable 30 runs in a batting displayed that showed a lot of patience, maturity and even flair at the end.
Ishant Sharma brought the necessary breakthrough, finding the edge of Rabada’s bat, where Ajinkya Rahane gleefully took the catch in the gully.
The mighty Hash was patiently and bravely building his innings and focused on digging his country out of the hole they found themselves in at 80 for 3 and still training India’s first Innings total of 187. Amla wore a few body blows to the ribs and fingers in his gutsy effort of 61.
Amla’s innings was finally over when he timed a Jasprit Bumrah delivery straight to Hardik Pandya at the deep midwicket boundary, and he was one of Bumrah’s five wickets of the day and ultimately his first of his career in only his third test match.
Admittedly, Amla said that the conditions at the Wanderers were the toughest he has played under so far in his glistening Test career.
“It’s probably one of the spiciest pitches I’ve played on, there has been quite a few in England over the past two years that have been quite difficult, but this one was also difficult for the batsmen."
Interestingly, throughout Amla’s innings of 61, he employed a strategy that saw him shift a long way across his stumps to counter the conditions.
“I just figured that ball was doing a lot, so I just wanted to get into the channel and if it was outside, just leave it, but I knew I was going to get a few on the body but that’s just how the game is.”
The day ended with the Indians on 49 for 1 with a lead of 42 runs, with Murali Vijay and KL Rahul at the crease, both on 16.