India vs South Africa 2nd Test, Day 4: Visitors struggling in 287-run chase

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Morne Morkel may have been complaining about sub-continental conditions after Day 3 in Centurion but the team from the subcontinent were pretty much taken apart on Day 4. By the time India dismissed the South Africans, the hosts were 287 runs ahead. The pitch may have looked a good one to bat on in the first two days but it has changed its complexion since. Faf Du Plessis taking 141 balls to reach 48 and the Indian top order’s failure to score significant runs is proof of that. At the end of Day 4, India have been reduced to 35/3 and need 252 to win. Cheteshwar Pujara and a rather battered Parthiv Patel are in the middle.
The three wickets that India lost is the biggest collective blow they have suffered on Day 4. The first was that of Murali Vijay, who was deceived by the low bounce that Jasprit Bumrah was exploiting on during the South African innings. He ended up edging the ball to his own stumps. KL Rahul then attempted a horrendous shot on a delivery pitched outside off and it was nothing more than catching practice for the fielder standing at backward point.
It was the third wicket that could prove the decisive one. Virat Kohli had almost single-handedly kept India in the game in the first innings and he was batting with Cheteshwar Pujara. But the Indian captain was not able to emulate his first innings heroics as Lungi Ngidi caught him LBW. Kohli did go for the review but he was plumb as the replays showed.
Mohammed Shami had turned the screws on the South Africans just before lunch, taking the wickets of AB de Villiers and Dena Elgar. He went on dismiss Quinton De Kock and Kagiso Rabada. Faf Du Plessis, who blocked off the Indians time and again was finally dismissed for a brilliant catch by Jasprit Bumrah. But all these were only some of the highlights of what has been a rather dismal day for India. Saving this match, and indeed the series, now seems like a steep uphill climb for them.

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