Johannesburg: Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma wrecked havoc on Day Three to bowl out South Africa for 244. After which, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli took the Proteas bowling apart with an unfinished 191-run stand. Catch all the highlights from the day's play, as they happened: (Match Scorecard | Text Commentary | Match Report | Day 3 in pics | Day 3 stats)
Murali Vijay after Day 3's play: "In the first innings I played a loose shot and got out. I batted a lot tighter today. Regarding my dismissal down the leg side, I just wanted to get the ball finer, but it went to the keeper. Once I got my eyes in my plan was to play my shots. Pujara and I wanted to play tighter. Pujara and Kohli played well. I'm really happy for Pujara. The team is in a very good position but we still need to get 10 wickets to win the match."
Vernon Philander after Day 3's play: "Being a bowler less was difficult for us. There was more work for us, It was sad to lose Morne through injury. Hopefully he recovers quickly. The wicket played well today. Indian batsmen left well during the early stages. I'm glad to reach the milestone of being the fastest South African to reach 100 wickets. It has been two hard years at the Test level for me. I hope to do the same for South Africa. We have to make early inroads tomorrow on Day 4 and make the second new-ball count to push them back."
Former India opener Arun Lal says Cheteshwar Pujara reminds him of Hashim Amla. Both play differently but approach the game the same way. He also says that Pujara fits in the Indian scheme of things for the ICC 2015 World Cup.
21:24 (IST) Its stumps and India are 284/2, with a 320-run lead. Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli have made sure South Africa have a mountain to climb. A total of 175 runs, out of their unfinished 191-run stand for third wicket, came in the final session, which totally negated the hosts.
21:11 (IST) Kohli pulls Philander for four through mid-wicket as the shoulders drop for South Africa. India 272/2 (75 overs), lead by 309 runs.
20:59 (IST) Pujara continues his carnage, Duminy bowls a quicker one and Pujara rocks back and cuts it through vacant third-man for four. India 256/2, lead by 292.
20:53 (IST) Dale Steyn still running in and bowling at over 140 kmph, Kohli though, continues to play him well, a maiden for a change. India 251/2, lead by 287.
20:47 (IST) The partnership between the two have rocketed on to over 150 as they have scored 139 runs since the tea break. India 248/2, lead by 284 runs.
20:40 (IST) Another long hop from Tahir and Pujara cashes in, drills it past mid-on for another boundary. India 246/2, lead by 282.
20:37 (IST) Cheteshwar Pujara scored his first fifty today in 127 balls, his second fifty today took 41 balls. Read more on how he got his 6th Test century.
20:34 (IST) Meanwhile, on the field, runs continue to flow as Pujara hammers Imran Tahir for four past mid-wicket. India 239/2 (64 overs), lead by 275 runs.
20:28 (IST) NEWS: South African team manager Mohd Moosajee says Morne Morkel, who twisted his ankle earlier, will play no further part in this game and is highly unlikely for the second Test. Morkel has a grade 1 ankle strain and is out for 7-10 days.
20:22 (IST) That's it, Pujara reaches his 6th hundred, in 168 balls with the help of 13 fours as he hammers Dale Steyn for four through the covers. He raises his bat and pumps his fists after a stoic effort that bailed India out of trouble and put the visitors in a strong position.
20:18 (IST) Kohli and Pujara have hit top gear this session. Last 10 overs have yielded 66 runs as these two have shared 124 runs in 157 balls. India
20:13 (IST) Pujara enters the nineties with a four, a flourishing extra cover drive, fielders can just see it go past them. India 217/2 (60 overs) lead by 253.
20:07 (IST) Virat Kohli reaches a well-deserved fifty, his 8th in Tests. He now becomes second Indian after Rahul Dravid to score a 100 and a fifty in the same Test in South Africa. Dravid did it in 1997 at this same ground.
20:02 (IST) Pujara dominating proceedings here big time, this time hits JP Duminy for successive fours. India 203/2, lead by 239.
19:54 (IST) Pujara turning it on here after reaching a half-century, creates room for himself and hammers Kallis for back-to-back fours. India 176/2, lead by 212 runs.
19:49 (IST) The lead is over 200 now as both Kohli and Pujara looking at ease against not only the spinners, but also against faster bowlers like Kallis, Philander. India 165/2, lead by 201.
19:44 (IST) Pujara punishes Philander this time. Just a touch wide from Philander and Pujara latched on to it and hammered it fiercely between point and covers for four. India 161/2 after 52 overs, lead by 197.
19:39 (IST) One of the reasons why Pujara was awarded ICC's Emerging Player of the Year was because of his consistency at the Test level. In fact, currently he averages (66.14) only second to Don Bradman in all-time Test averages for players who have played at least 20 innings.
19:34 (IST) The fifty of the partnership is up as Kohli drills Tahir through mid-off for four. India 151/2 after 49 overs, lead by 187 runs.
19:28 (IST) Imran Tahir drops a sitter, Pujara gets a life! Tahir bowled it round the stumps, was probably was the googly, which Pujara failed to pick, hit it straight back to the bowler, who spilled it. India 141/2, lead by 177.
19:23 (IST) Pujara you beauty! What a fifty, fourth half-century for the Saurashtra run-machine. Reaches it in 127 balls. A determined effort. India 137/2, lead by 173 runs.
19:18 (IST) For people who are wondering, who is on the field in place of injured Morne Morkel? The answer is Dean Elgar, left-hand batsman and a left-arm thrower.
19:12 (IST) Duminy starts off well, bowling from round the stumps, he gave away just two in his first over. India 122/2, lead by 158 runs.
19:10 (IST) JP Duminy to bowl from the other end. Time to see whether he can do a better job than Imran Tahir in containing the batsmen.
19:03 (IST) First ball after tea and Kohli hits a four. Steyn bowled it full, no swing on offer and Kohli drills it to the mid-wicket fence. Good positive start for India. Five balls later, Steyn bowls a shocker, a wayward bouncer, wide over the keeper for five wides down towards fine-leg.
18:41 (IST) That's tea and India are 109 for 2, with a 145-run lead in the second innings. AB de Villiers gave away 5 runs in that last over before tea. South African bowling seems to have been hampered in a big way after Morne Morkel left the field with a twisted ankle. India scored 78 runs in the second session for the loss of Murali Vijay, who made 39. Pujara (39*) is going strong and Virat Kohli (6*) is feeling his way into the crease.
18:37 (IST) Well, well, well, AB de Villiers is bowling slow mediums here. Then who is keeping? Hashim Amla dons the keeper's gloves as it is the last over before tea.
18:32 (IST) Pujara slashes one hard off Kallis and it goes past point for four. Pujara's one hand came off the handle and it still ran for four. India 104/2 after 38 overs, lead by 140.
18:25 (IST) Steyn gets one to rise and Kohli attempts a hook, gets a faint tickle on it and it goes over the keeper's head for four. India 98/2, lead by 134 runs.
18:19 (IST) There is a spring the stride of South African fielders now as Vijay has gone back to the hut. However, a greater danger looms for them in Kohli, who hit a career-best hundred in the first innings and a well-set and determined Cheteshwar Pujara. Kohli got a loud cheer from the few spectators at Wanderers as he walked out to bat.
18:13 (IST) WICKET! Murali Vijay departs and Jacques Kallis breaks the stubborn stand. Vijay made 39 off 94 balls with the help of 5 fours. India 93/2, lead by 129 runs.
18:06 (IST) Pujara has looked determined in his stay at the crease. Before leaving for South Africa, he had decided he wouldn't play the shots he normally plays in the sub-continent. Read more.
18:02 (IST) Cheteshwar Pujara brings out the pull, for the first time on the tour, and fetches four runs for it. Kallis digs it in short and Pujara was in full control of it. What's more, he placed it between fine-leg and deep backward square-leg for four. India 89/1 (32 overs), lead by 125 runs.
17:55 (IST) Pujara cuts Kallis and cuts it hard over point, safe shot, gets four for it. India 81/1 (30 overs), lead by 117 runs.
17:51 (IST) No surprises there as Imran Tahir is taken out of the attack after that one over that went for 9 runs. Kallis to bowl.
17:43 (IST) Imran Tahir into the attack and the Indian batsmen are at ease against the leg spinner. Murali Vijay makes use of the overpitched ball and launches a free-flowing drive, between extra cover and mid-off. India 75 for 1 (28 overs), lead by 111 runs.
17:37 (IST) Pujara brings up India's 100-run lead with a four through mid-wicket. A lovely on-drive as Philander overcompensated with a ball on pads. India 66/1 (27 overs), lead by 102.
17:30 (IST) As Indians are getting close to a hundred run-lead in the second innings, Pakistan have lost an early wicket against Sri Lanka in the second ODI. Follow live scores here.
17:25 (IST) Philander returns for another spell, but the same old story, Pujara plays him out for another maiden. A touch of frustration creeping in the Proteas ranks.
17:18 (IST) To remind the readers, Vernon Philander became the fastest South African to reach 100 Test wickets. Who's record did he breach? Read here.
17:12 (IST) Vijay and Pujara have negotiated the first half hour after lunch with ease. Vijay is slowly gaining momentum in his innings, he placed an away-going ball from Steyn towards point and took three runs for it as Alviro Peterson chased it down. India 49/1 (22 overs), lead by 85 runs.
17:07 (IST) Murali Vijay is cashing in on anything that is slightly loose. This time he shows the full face of the bat, pushes it past mid-on for four. Two balls later he flicks Steyn past backward square-leg for another boundary. Both superbly well-timed strokes. India 46/1 (20 overs) lead by 82.
17:00 (IST) Run out chance out of nowhere and Pujara, for a small second, was in a spot of bother. He had to run around Hashim Amla while returning for a second run, but made it in time as AB de Villiers whipped the bails. India 38/1 after 19 overs, lead by 74.
16:57 (IST) Vernon Philander bowls one outside off and Pujara rocks back and places it between point and extra covers for a couple. India 35/1 (18 overs), lead by 71.
16:51 (IST) Loud appeal for LBW but umpire Steve Davis says no out. Kallis bowled one which was slightly tailing in and Vijay missed a flick, it thudded onto the pads but seemed to be going down leg. India 33/1 (17 overs), lead by 69.
16:42 (IST) Players make their way into the middle. Jacques Kallis has the ball in his hand, Murali Vijay will face after lunch.
16:25 (IST) More news from Pakistan, they may pull out of the Asia Cup and World T20 in Bangladesh over security issues. Read more.
16:15 (IST) For those interested in Pakistan cricket, Moin Khan is likely to be named the national team's interim coach. Read more.
16:05 (IST) That's lunch on Day 3 and India are 31 for 1 after 14 overs. The visitors lead by 67 runs. Murali Vijay is batting on 12 and giving him company is Cheteshwar Pujara on 4. Shikhar Dhawan fell to Vernon Philander for 15.
16:00 (IST) Oh! Morne Morkel seems to be in some trouble, while fielding at deep backward square, he twisted ankle and is in pain. After much consultation from the physio, he's going off the field.
15:56 (IST) After a barrage of balls short outside off stump, Morne Morkel drifts onto pads and Murali Vijay flicks it easily past mid-wicket four. India 29/1 (13 overs). One over to go for lunch.
15:50 (IST) Pujara plays out Dale Steyn with ease as the fiery pacer bowls a line outside off stump. Pujara as no trouble leaving the ones away and playing the straight ones showing the full face of the bat. India 25/1 after 12 overs.
15:41 (IST) Close chance here for Philander, who gets Pujara to edge one but it fails to carry to Kallis at second slip. The right-hander had played it with soft hands, thus making sure it didn't go too much in the air.
15:38 (IST) The catch of Dhawan was the 199th catch in Test cricket for Jacques Kallis, most by any South African fielder. India's Rahul Dravid holds the all-time record of 210 Test catches.
15:35 (IST) FACTOID: Vernon Philander becomes the sixth fastest bowler in Test history to claim 100 wickets, in 19 matches. He is now the fastest South African to achieve the feat. Dale Steyn reached 100 wickets in his 20th Test. R Ashwin is the fastest Indian to reach the milestone, in 18 Tests and fifth fastest overall.
15:32 (IST) WICKET! Shikhar Dhawan falls cheaply again, Philander gets one to move away a little and Dhawan edges it, Kaliis takes a good catch, leaning to his right at second slip. Dhawan made 15. India 23/1 (7.3 overs)
15:25 (IST) Vijay playing Steyn sensibly, with loose bottom hand, letting the ball run off the face of the bat and it goes between point and gully for a couple. India 23/0 (7 overs), lead by 59 runs.
15:15 (IST) Murali Vijay gaining in confidence here, shows the full face of the bat to Vernon Philander and the ball runs away for four through mid-off. India 18/0 after 4 overs, lead by 54 runs.
15.03 (IST): Talking of Indian pacers, Zaheer has been exceptional in his comeback.
good to see zaheer back and fit. what a difference he makes!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 20, 2013
15.01 (IST):FACTOID: There is something about Indian fast bowlers and South Africa. The last time they picked up all 10 wickets was in South Africa in 2011 at Cape Town.
14.59 (IST): Steyn starts with three slips and a deep square leg for the left-handed Dhawan. Expect a barrage of short deliveries.
14.58 (IST): Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay walk out to bat. Dale Steyn has the ball.
14.53 (IST): Third day so far - The morning session has started as the Zaheer-Ishant show. They have taken just under 10 overs to skittle out South Africa and allow India to go in with a first innings lead of 36. After the second day's play, Sunil Gavaskar had said that Zaheer had led the bowling attack in a brilliant fashion.
14.52 (IST): The previous occasion when India took a first innings lead on foreign soil was against England at Nottingham in 2011. They went on to concede the game by 319 runs.
14.49 (IST): Wicket No.4 for Zaheer! Morne Morkel got a boundary off the previous ball but tried one shot too many and was clean bowled in the process, bringing an end to South Africa innings at 244. India will be delighted to walk back with a 36-run lead. The wicket has offered a lot of uneven bounce since last evening. A lot of pressure on the Indian batsmen now, who need to dig in and consolidate on the performance of the bowlers.
14.41 (IST): Another wicket down! Faf goes this time. Zaheer's ploy to come round the wicket has worked for him. He angled a length delivery into the right hander, which held its line after pitching. Faf attempted a forward defensive stroke but an outside edge went straight to Dhoni behind the stumps. South Africa are nine down now with 239 runs on the board.
14.33 (IST): Dale Steyn is gone! Extra bounce on an Ishant Sharma delivery did him in. He failed to keep his bat away and the ball carried straight to Rohit Sharma at slips. SA 237-8.
14.27 (IST): Dale Steyn straight drives Zaheer to the boundary and follows it up with a wild swing that carries the ball over the slips to the boundary. Every run is crucial for the hosts here. The deficit is now down to 44.
14.19 (IST): Ishant goes up in appeal for a leg before, but Faf du Plessis is on the ground, flinching in pain. He was struck on his groin. After a brief break, Faf is back on his feet, much to the crowd's delight.
14.17 (IST): Dale Steyn comes out to bat.
14.15 (IST): There's the first wicket of the morning! Zaheer Khan gets rid of Philander! He continues bowling round the wicket, angling the ball into the right hander. The ball held its line after pitching and Philander played at it, resulting in an outside edge carrying to Ashwin at first slip. Philander scored 59. SA 226-7.
14.09 (IST): Oh, odd bounce! That seems to have come off a crack on the wicket. A length delivery that Philander was hoping to defend on the backfoot, climbed on him. He managed to get his bat behind it but was surely surprised. Ishant had a stare to offer to the batsman.
14.05 (IST): Zaheer starts off round the wicket and bowls one down the leg side to Faf. There's a bit of inswing from Zaheer and the batsmen collect just two from the over.
14.04 (IST): Good start for South Africa. They collect 10 runs from the first over.
14.03 (IST): Another four for Philander! Identical length from Ishant and Philander replicates the shot he played on the first ball.
14.00 (IST): Half-century no.3 for Philander! He punches the first ball off the backfoot to the fence to reach the milestone. South Africa will need him to hang around for long.
13.59 (IST): Ishant Sharma will start the proceedings on the third day.
13.45 (IST): Pitch report - The cracks began to show up yesterday and generated odd bounce for both sets of bowlers. First Philander got the ball to climb on the batsman, followed by one that went below the knee roll. The cracks are expected to play a bigger role today and it will be a test for Philander and Faf to get as many runs as possible to narrow down on the deficit.
13:35 (IST): Players to watch out for in the day - Vernon Philander has had a good Test so far with the ball. He will now look to steady his team with the bat. At 48*, the 28-year-old will be eying his third fifty and will then look to go past his best Test score of 74. Watch out for Ishant as well. With 147 wickets, he will be looking to reach the 150-wickets milestone. He will be competing with Zaheer who needs four wickets to complete 300 Test scalps.
13:30 (IST):Weather update - Currently 19C in Johannesburg with overcast skies hinting showers. Local weathermen however do not predict rain to be continuous but agree that play will have unplanned stoppages.
13:15 (IST): All eyes would be on Ishant today as he looks to add to his three wickets. With the support of Mohammad Shami (two wickets from Day 2) and the guidance of Zaheer Khan (1 wicket from Day 2), the lanky Delhi pacer can truly redeem himself for the follies against Australia. (Do read: Not so long ago, same Ishant was butt of all jokes)
13:10 (IST):The story so far - On the opening day, Indian openers failed to deliver and fell cheaply. It was Virat Kohli's classy 119 however that helped the tourists and the young batsman made the day his own. A day later, Vernon Philander went berserk with the ball. His 4/61 - three wickets in the opening session on Day 2 - bundled India out on 280 despite the innings being resumed at 255/5. Skipper Graeme Smith threatened add to India's woes with his 68 but Indian pacers led by Ishant hit back hard in the final session to ensure South Africa end Thursday on 213/6. (Read full Day 2 report here)
13:00 (IST): The first two days of the opening Test between South Africa and India have seen fortunes swing, innings-by-innings. (Also see: Day 2 in pics) While some big names have failed to get going so far, a few others have risen to the occasion and performed exceptionally. While India may have the edge after a superb final session of play on Thursday, the match itself is far from being sealed by either side. (Thursday's highlights)