Nagpur, Nov 25 (IANS) South Africa bowlers removed both Indian openers as the hosts reached 85/2 at lunch on the opening day of the third cricket Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium here on Wednesday.
Cheteshwar Pujara (18) and skipper Virat Kohli (11) were at the crease for India when lunch was called.
Opting to bat first on a dry and slow pitch, the hosts got off to a modest start, taking time to settle down and assessing the nature of the pitch.
Both openers Murali Vijay (40) and Shikhar Dhawan (12) made sure they spent as much time at the crease.
But soon after their 50-run opening stand, left-arm spinner Dean Elgar brought the early breakthrough for the visitors by dismissing Dhawan inside first 15 overs of play.
Dhawan, who tried to come down the track and drive the ball away, only managed to hit the inside half of the bat which resulted in the ball going straight back at Elgar who took a good diving catch in front of the stumps to dismiss the left-handed batsman.
Pujara joined Vijay in the middle but just a few overs before the lunch the Proteas struck yet again to leave India at 69/2.
Seamer Morne Morkel bowled a terrific delivery at 142 kmph at Vijay who looked to play through the leg side but missed it and was struck right in front of the middle stump, thus helping the umpire to make an easy leg before the wicket (LBW) decision.
The hosts lead the series 1-0 after winning the first Test in Mohali and the second having been washed out in Bengaluru.