Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal steadied the Indian ship after last Test’s hero Rohit Sharma was dismissed early in the first session of the second Test on Day 1 at the MCA International Stadium in Pune on Thursday.
Winning the toss, Indian skipper Virat Kohli did not hesitate to go for batting first on a damp surface. Both the openers, Sharma and Agarwal, started off cautiously against what looked like a rejuvenated South African attack.
That’s Lunch on Day 1 of the 2nd Test. #TeamIndia 77/1 (Mayank 34*, Pujara 19*)
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 10, 2019
The duo had a hard time scoring runs before Sharma, who scored two centuries in the last match, became a victim of Kagiso Rabada’s peach of a delivery when he was batting at 14.
Amidst the form of his life, the 32-year-old opener failed to read an out-swinging delivery as the red cherry took his outside edge to fall safely into the gloves of Quinton de Kock.
Joining forces with Agarwal, Pujara made sure that the home team doesn’t suffer any further casualties as both the batsmen added an unbeaten 52-run stand for the second wicket.
After seeing off the initial scares from the new ball, Pujara and Agarwal made themselves comfortable in the middle to give a sense of relief to the dressing room.
South Africa, on the other hand, should be scratching their heads as they failed to capitalize on the bright start. The bowlers looked fresh and raring to have a go at the Indian batsmen and so they did with the early wicket of Sharma.
But once the new ball lost its shine, the bowlers too seemed to have lost their vicious approach as Pujara and Agarwal began to open their arms with ease.