Spinners put India in charge
BANGALORE, India (AP):
India were comfortably placed at 80-0 at stumps yesterday after spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin helped skittle out South Africa for 214 on the opening day of the second cricket Test.
At the close, Shikhar Dhawan was batting on 45 and Murali Vijay on 28 as India looked on track to gain the first-innings lead on a pitch aiding turn. India, which won the opening Test of the four-game series by 108 runs at Mohali, trailed by 134 runs.
Left-hander Dhawan put behind him his pair of ducks in the opening Test as he struck seven fours. Vijay, who was dropped on 21 by Imran Tahir at square leg off Morne Morkel, had hit five fours.
Earlier, the South African batsmen struggled against slow bowling as left-arm spinner Jadeja grabbed 4-50 and offspinner Ashwin 4-70.
AB de Villiers led the resistance with 85, but failed to build partnerships.
"There was not much for us in the pitch, but we bowled well," Ashwin said. "AB de Villiers is a world-class batsman and played his strokes, but I thought he was a bit edgy today. We were in control, with wickets falling regularly at the other end."
Ashwin got the initial wickets to justify captain Virat Kohli's decision to bowl, while Jadeja took charge later. Ashwin and Jadeja had finished with eight wickets each at Mohali and seemed to intimidate most of the batsmen from early on.
The pace bowlers could not get early wickets, but Ashwin removed opener Stiaan van Zyl and Faf du Plessis in quick succession in the eighth over as South Africa tottered at 15-2. Ashwin also dismissed Jean-Paul Duminy and Morkel, both of whom returned for the match after missing the first Test due to injuries.
Jadeja's first wicket was that of Dean Elgar immediately after lunch as the left-hander went for a sweep, only to glove it on to the stumps after making a fighting 38. Jadeja also took a sharp return catch to dismiss Dane Vilas and then the key wicket of de Villiers, who was caught by a fine diving effort by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. Kagiso Rabada also fell to Jadeja, caught in the close cordon.
"The pitch was fine, but we did not play well," South Africa coach Russell Domingo said. "There were too many soft dismissals. At the moment, we are too far behind in the game, but 6-7 wickets can fall in a session here, and the game can change fast."