Johannesburg — South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada produced a momentum shifting spell, picking up three wickets for 11 runs in 15 balls on day three of the second Test.
IOL Sport’s Stuart Hess takes a look at other crucial highlights from the day’s play at the Wanderers that sees the home side with their noses slightly in front.
KILLER KG: South Africa desperately needed a lift after a flat first hour. Rabada, who’s not shown his best yet in the series, produced one of those momentum shifting spells, picking up three wickets for 11 runs in 15 balls. From the match comfortably sailing India’s way, suddenly he blew it in a different direction.
BOUNCING BUMRAH: Understandably young Jansen didn’t take kindly to copping a few blows from Bumrah and the other India bowlers in South Africa’s first innings. He can also dish that sort of thing out and did, not giving Bumrah anything in his half in India’s second innings. Bumrah didn’t like it, beckoned Jansen over for a chat, the pair had to be separated by the umpires. It was all harmless really, not the kind of insults Bumrah exchanged with the English at Lord’s last year. Maybe he was trying to reignite that kind of fire.
TWO DAYS OF LORD SHARDUL: Wickets, seven of them on Tuesday, and runs on Wednesday followed by the wicket of Markram, it’s turning into quite a week for ‘Lord’ Shardul Thakur. You know why there’s been the comparisons made with Botham; the build, the bowling and on the third day, the booming batting that included a glorious lofted straight drive that fell centimetres short of going for six. It’s been his game so far.
PITCH: It remains a very tricky prospect for batters. Balls are still springing through to the keeper - and sometimes over them, but some are now keeping low. There’s a spot for the bowlers delivering from the Golf Course End, on a length, where the top of the surface ‘explodes’ - one ball out of there from Bumrah struck Petersen a painful blow in the chest. The fourth day will be challenging.
SPECTATORS: Dotted around in some of the suits were spectators; what appeared to be a cricket team in the lower tier of the Centenary Stand, some of the Central Gauteng Lions staff in the lower Unity Stand, another handful in Kent Park Taverners, and a rowdy group that cheered every Indian run and wicket also in the Unity Stand. It was some kind of atmosphere, nothing as it should be or certainly as this entertaining encounter deserves. But it was something. Here’s hoping Cricket SA may be able to twist the arm of the relevant authority to get a few thousand into Newlands next week.