India vs South Africa, 2nd Test Day 1: Mayank, Virat power India to 273/3 at Stumps


Mayank Agarwal celebrates his century with Virat Kohli. (PTI Photo)

PUNE, October 10: Opener Mayank Agarwal stamped his authority on a struggling South African attack with a second successive hundred as India cruised to 273 for three on the opening day of the second Test.
Play was stopped in the 86th over due to fading light.
The 28-year-old’s rich vein of form continued as he looked in complete command for his 108 off 195 balls, having made a sublime 215 in the series opener in Visakhapatnam last week.
The first day of the second match panned out similar to the way the first Test went as India, leading 1-0 in the series, looked to out-bat the Proteas on a good surface.
Along with Cheteshwar Pujara (58), Agarwal added 138 runs for the second wicket with minimum fuss, despite India losing Rohit Sharma’s (14) wicket in the first hour itself.
In the final session, skipper Virat Kohli (63 batting off 105 balls) was in his element, hitting yet another Test half-century and adding 75 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket partnership with Ajinkya Rahae (18 batting off 70 balls). Kohli hit some flowing drives during the final hour and had 10 fours to his credit.
The highlight of the day however was Agarwal’s approach against both pace and spin, both of which, he tackled with ease. His knock comprised 16 fours and two sixes.
The opener raced to his second Test hundred hitting left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj down the ground for consecutive sixes and then played an intentional back-cut
off Vernon Philander to complete the coveted milestone.
Agarwal’s scoring chart would indicate that his innings was a perfect blend of caution mixed with aggression. He got 74 runs off 18 balls in boundaries and the remaining 34 runs came off 177 balls.
Among South African pacers, Kagiso Rabada (3/48 in 18.1 overs) hit better lengths during the course of the day and was easily the most potent bowler on view.
Rabada bowled a beautiful delivery that pitched on length and moved only a shade to kiss the outside edge of Rohit’s bat before going into wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock’s gloves. (PTI)