A Freedom series quintet, Newlands day 2

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1 IF YOU AREN’T MOVING FORWARD YOU’RE GOING BACKWARDS: India adopted a survive at all costs approach on the second morning and managed to get to lunch with only one further wicket down, that of Rohit Sharma, but their slow scoring rate meant that at 76 for four a couple quick wickets might see them slip right back into the mire and sure enough mother cricket punished their conservative approach soon after.

2 VENOMOUS VERN STRIKES AT HAPPY HUNTING GROUND: The nagging line and length of the slowest of the South African pacemen prved invaluable to the hosts as he struck twice in two overs staright after lunch to send Che Pujara and Ravi Ashwin packing and prove why his name is one of the first penciled in to any Proteas Test team sheet. The Capetonian swing king was at his best using his unerring accuracy to exploit the slightest bit of movement off the pitch or through the air.

3 WHO DARES WINS: Hardik Pandya showed what can be done on this pitch with a positive approach and a few helpings of good luck. Pandya took the attack to the Proteas and kept India in the match with a thrilling knock of 93 and showed the top order the value of keeping the scoreboard moving, he caused Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis to spread his field and abandon tactics that had been working a treat. Though Pandya made his name as a white ball player his knock was not simply a T20 innings in whites, his risks were calculated and he was able to make the most of being dropped on 15 by Dean Elgar.

4 CHIN MUSIC DEALS WITH THE TAIL: There are few tailenders or even lower order batsmen who would be able to handle a chunk of leather whizzing past their face at 140KMPH but India’s bowlers had to deal with just that. After tea the Proteas seamers led by Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada unleashed a furious barrage of chin music. The India bowlers were made extremely uncomfortable by the stream of fast short pitched deliveries that flew their way and both Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar found the tune not at all to their taste and Jasprit Bumrah was understandably not too keen to get into the line of the deliveries.

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5 THE STEYN SAGA CONTINUES: In excess of 15,000 people streamed into Newlands on Saturday and they might have let out a collective groan of ‘not again’ as Dale Steyn left the field with an injury. Steyn would not return to the field and was sent to the hospital to have a suspected bruised heel assessed. The knock is not believed to be serious but it will frustrate the quick immensely after a long spell on the sidelines. After play it was revealed that Steyn is unlikely to play any further part in the match.

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