India came back strongly late on Day 1 in the second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion as the hosts closed the proceedings on 269/6 on Saturday. Aiden Markram top-scored for the Proteas with 94 as R Ashwin picked up three wickets for India. 

After electing to bat, South Africa were strongly placed at 246/3 when quick wickets spoiled all the good work of the hosts’ top order. It began with Hashim Amla’s run-out for 82 runs, and before long Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander also found themselves back in the dressing room without opening their account. Thereafter captain Faf du Plessis (24) and Keshav Maharaj (10) closed out the day without further damage.

Earlier in the day, the Indian team management surprised one and all with some inexplicable changes. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, one of India’s top performers in the Cape Town defeat, and Shikhar Dhawan were dropped in favour of Ishant Sharma and KL Rahul, and these moves brought widespread criticism from former…

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