As far back as we can remember, the Stick of India has drawn crowds and eyes while the rest of the side has been on the periphery of attention. It is safe to say that is no longer the case. India’s rhythm unit has taken over.

While KL Rahul’s 123 was as aesthetic as it was effective in guiding India to 327 in the opening innings – it’s a batting meltdown that deserves to be deepened soon enough – the Indian pointers seemed more at ease as the host bowlers.

Jasprit Bumrah (2/16), Mohammed Siraj (1/45), Mohammed Shami (5/44) and even medium pace Shardul Thakur (2/51) made the South African hitters look all over the sea. They were tight, complemented each other exceptionally well, patient, and bowled with a chip on their shoulders.

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Sticking to the basics, they sidelined South Africa to 197 in 62.3 overs, to establish a 130-point lead, then reached 16/1 in 6 overs to extend the lead to 146. points on stumps, with two remaining days of play. .

It’s no surprise that the day turned out like this. The pitch was expected to harden up and get faster, but there was some apprehension with the prediction as matchday two’s play was swept by India on a stellar 272-3.

Fortunately, SuperSport Park was bathed in sunshine on day three, and Indian pair Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane had to take advantage of the advantage. They didn’t, and neither did the rest of the hitters who came after.

India lost seven wickets for 55 races with Kagiso Rabada (3/72) and Lungi Ngidi (6/71) rioting. What the duo lacked on an opening day, he showed up on Tuesday. They played tight, made the most of the extra rebound offered, and were mercilessly loud.

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This does not absolve the Indian drummers of their mistakes. Rahul shouldn’t have kicked the ball when he knew the ball was going up quickly, Rahane shouldn’t have been looking to drive a short ball so early in the day and Rishabh Pant should have been playing with longer hands. soft having spent only 15 minutes at the fold.

The lower order, which was at the rendezvous in the matches preceding this one, could not deliver either. But they cannot be blamed as they were faced with the fire and intensity of an attack from Proteas that sought to make up for their lackluster sight from 48 hours ago.

About an hour into the day, the test tissue had a gash and India was no longer in charge. But it only lasted so long.

The Indian point guard has been an integral part of the team’s success in Australia and England, and while not as widely used at home, they still manage to keep up the pressure to complete the spinners. Here, the conditions were met for them to exploit them.

And they loved it.

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