Ajinkya Rahane :
Ajinkya Rahane pulled out a master-class from the top-drawer and helped the hosts post the highest score of the Test series. He enjoyed his slice of luck when Hashim Amla put him down when he edged Dane Piedt to slip, but the Mumbaikar was calmness personified otherwise. He used the crease brilliantly to cope with the spinners, while the pacers were dealt with severly everytime they errer in line of length. He was unbeaten on 89 when stumps were broken for the day due to bad light. India had reached 231/7 on the only day so far in the series during which the battle between ball and bat seemed more even.
Dane Piedt was the other star performer of the day. Brought on in the place of Simon Harmer, Piedt produced a memorable performance to leave the Indian team rattled early in their innings. Playing in only his second Test, Piedt enjoyed the assistance on offer to consistently trouble the Indians. He ended the day with an impressive four for 101.
Opting to bat first, India were made to graft early in the innings with the South African pacers hitting good areas. Unlike the previous fixtures, there was no vicious turn from the word go. The Kotla track, ill-reputed for its erratic behaviour, offered variable bounce to the faster bowlers. Once again, Morne Morkel began sharply and in the absence of Dale Steyn, led the attack well to test the Indian openers, who were predominantly on the back foot early. Lack of copious turn did not make life for the batsmen any easy as Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay had to be as watchful as they’ve been in the series.