In spite of off-field turmoil, Virat Kohli not short of motivation to create history in South Africa
16 Dec 2021
Ravichandran Ashwin missed a well-deserving half-century but did enough to provide a solid hand to India’s first innings in the second Test of the series against South Africa in Johannesburg.
He walked out to bat after the dismissal of skipper KL Rahul and played with flair to dominate the run-scoring even in the partnership with Rishabh Pant. He was the leading run-scorer in the 40-run partnership with the wicketkeeper-batsman.
He was fluent in his strokeplay and did not fear taking the aerial route in 50-ball 46 and laid the platform for India to have some sort of respectable total in the first innings.
He also stitched a valuable partnership with Mohammad Shami after the dismissal of Shardul Thakur and later Jasprit Bumrah hit some crisp shots to take India beyond the 200-run mark.
KL Rahul was the highest run-getter in the first innings with a fifty but 46 runs from Ashwin would go on to play some role in the later parts of the game. The pitch at the Wanderers has plenty on offer to the pacers and India will bank on their pacers to inflict similar damage on the Proteas batsmen as their batsmen have dealt with.
India were bowled out for 202 runs with Kagiso Rabada, and Duanne Olivier picking up three wickets each while the young pacer Marco Jansen became the best bowler with four wickets.