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Ishant Sharma's Selection Over Bhuvneshwar Kumar For 2nd Test Leaves Millennials Baffled

14 January 2018

Hashim Amla made his 82 off 153 balls with 14 fours. Both, however, missed their tons.

India endured a hard opening to day one of the second Test against South Africa but thanks to some late wickets will feel well in the contest. Ashwin bowled a long spell during the first two sessions, and kept India in contention.

When they resume on Sunday, Keshav Maharaj and skipper Faf du Plessis will resume on respective scores of 10 and 24 and add significantly on the scoreboard and to give India something to think about.

The all-rounder then completed the routine task of dislodging the bails to run out Philander after the South Africa seamer's brain-fade had left him and Du Plessis at the same end.

The Proteas were 35/0, with the right-handed Markram unbeaten on 25 and southpaw Elgar batting on 9. The opening stand of 85 between Dean Elger and Aiden Markram gave the hosts a flawless start, but the unlucky dismissal of Elger cut their party short. Still, he was asked to warm the bench and allow Ishant Sharma use his height to extract more bounce.

The visitors, in fact, made three changes - KL Rahul replaced Shikhar Dhawan while an injured Wriddhiman Saha made way for Parthiv Patel, besides Ishant Sharma coming in for Kumar. In that regard, it is nearly certain that KL Rahul, who has a more compact technique, will take Dhawan's place.

Mohammed Shami disappointed by bowling fully-pitched deliveries though Pandya rose up to the challenge got more overs to bowl than the former.

So, going by the logic mentioned above that only in-form players should be played, there was no reason why Bhuvneshwar Kumar was dropped, who picked 6 wickets for India in the first Test and was responsible for wrecking havoc in the first innings in Cape Town Test.

Cape Town - South Africans know Ravichandran Ashwin all too well. Even though the opener reviewed the decision as he felt his bat had hit the pad, the third umpire decided otherwise.

Markram was the aggressor, while Elgar batted with steely resolve and backed his defensive techniques to the hilt as the hosts reached 78/0 till the lunch session. Obviously, these things have combined over the last few years, I have had a great time over the last 2-3 years.

He struck the ball with authority, particularly off the back foot, before he tried to guide a ball from Ashwin towards third man and was caught behind by Parthiv Patel.

But an unflustered Markram joined hands with Amla and the pair continued to control the Indian bowlers. Till the time he fell six short of his century, Markram showed what class is well about. He was in a punishing mood but with a sensible approach.

Ashwin was India's best bowler with 3-90 as the seam attack struggled for most of the day on a surprisingly slow and lifeless pitch at SuperSport Park. To the well-set Hashim Amla, he went around the wicket with a slip, short leg, leg-slip and short mid on.

The opening 85-run stand was followed by 63- (Markram-Amla), 51- (Amla-AB de Villiers) and 47-run (Amla-du Plessis) partnerships.

Ishant Sharma's Selection Over Bhuvneshwar Kumar For 2nd Test Leaves Millennials Baffled