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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The second Test match between India and South Africa is wonderfully poised with an intriguing day four awaiting at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday.

After getting bowled out for 266 in their second innings, India had set a tricky target of 240 runs for the hosts. In reply, the Proteas have made a positive start and were 118 for two at stumps on day three. Rassie van der Dussen was unbeaten on 11 with captain Dean Elgar on 46 not out as the home side looked to level the series after losing the first Test in Pretoria.

With South Africa needing 122 more runs to win and with eight wickets still in the bank, the hosts have a slight advantage. However despite the solid start, the hosts still face a formidable task, as it is expected that the wicket will continue to prove increasingly difficult to bat on.

India batter Cheteshwar Pujara, who hit a crucial 53 in the second essay, reckoned the pitch will deteriorate on the fourth day of the Test. If that is the case, the batters would find it hard to get the remaining 122 runs and the climax at The Wanderers is in store for cricket crazy fans across the globe.

“Always important to get some runs as a batsman, especially on challenging pitches where you can’t score big runs. It’s been challenging and we have runs on the board, so, it is very balanced. Although we didn’t take too many wickets, we are confident that the pitch will deteriorate tomorrow,” Pujara said.

With experienced campaigners like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami and the uncanny Shardul Thakur in India’s ranks, a few quick wickets at the start of the game today could put South Africa into deep trouble and the match could still swing in India’s favour.

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