Much like the first two days, the first hour became a comfortable period for batting. India resumed with an overall lead of 142, and Virat Kohli along with Cheteshwar Pujara batted through the period with relative ease. Yesterday, Kohli delayed the introduction of his main weapon R Aswhin. Similarly, Hashim Amla deployed Imran Tahir only after the first drinks break. It played a factor in the 66-run stand added by Pujara and Kohli.
Tahir had an immediate impact when he was brought on, getting Pujara to edge to slip off the first ball he bowled. It was a period that saw India lose 3 wickets in 16 balls, allowing South Africa a sniff once again.
The sudden turnaround was a far cry from how things progressed at the start of the day. Pujara and Kohli were largely comfortable against the pacers Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada. The duo attacked with a stump-to-stump line but did not cause any alarms. When spin was employed finally by Amla, the duo had already settled in and India’s lead swelled close to a comfort zone