Starting from overnight score of 28 for 3, Pujara and Rohit were ready to show patience and frustrate the opposition bowlers. They were content playing out deliveries and preserving wickets rather than scoring runs. Philander didn't concede single run in his first five overs, keeping a tight leash on Rohit. He beat the batsman on a few occasions but it wasn't enough to induce an edge. Morkel came on as first change just before the drinks' break and immediately he extracted more bounce from the surface. India then crossed 50 in the 27th over. The visitors only added 17 runs in the first hour of play.
Day 2 was off to quite a slow start as it was Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma who were shouldering the responsibility of adding runs to the scoreboard. Post lunch, Vernon Philander 333 in 14.3 overs struck off the very first ball as Cheteshwar Pujara 26 was caught at second slip.Two overs later, he had Ravichandran Ashwin 12 caught behind as India were reduced to 816. It was Philander's 100th Test wicket at home.
The big moment came when Rabada came on to bowl. He looked like taking a wicket from the very start as he troubled Rohit with pace, bounce and movement. Finally, in the 29th over, he succeeded in doing so, trapping Rohit plumb in-front. The batsman used up a DRS review but the decision stayed in South Africa's favour. Pujara and Rohit had added 30 runs off 121 balls for the fourth wicket. Dale Steyn celebrates the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha.
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya stood tall amid ruins with his 93-run knock and two-wicket haul but hosts South Africa were still very much in command with a current lead of 142 runs against India after an enthralling second day in the first Test. Pandya played a swashbuckling innings of 93 off 95 balls as India managed a face-saving 209 after being in tatters at 92 for 7 during a typical Test match day where there was an even contest between bat and ball. Call it a coincidence, Pandya's all-round show that gave India a toehold came on the 59th birthday of India's greatest ever all-rounder Kapil Dev.
However with three days of play left and the pitch easing out compared to the first day, India will have an uphill task if they are to chase anything in excess of 275 runs. That India were not completely out of the match is solely due to Pandya's swift yet brutal counter-attack that provided the visitors with much-needed breathing space.Pandya justified his inclusion adding an invaluable 99 runs for the 8th wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar 25 after India looked down and out at 92 for 7.
With cushion of 77-run lead, the Proteas top-order batted with more purpose as they finished the day at 65 for 2 but Pandya 217 in 4 overs was again in the thick of things getting the wickets of openers Aiden Markram 34 and Dean Elgar 25. At stumps dependable Hashim Amla 4 batting was in company of nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada 2 batting. However with three days of play left and the pitch easing out compared to the first day, India will have an uphill task if they are to chase anything in excess of 275 runs.