Nagpur, Nov 25 (IANS) An impressive bowling performance by South Africa reduced India to 149/6 at tea on the opening day of the third Test of the four-match series at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here on Wednesday.
Batsmen Ravindra Jadeja (21 not out) and Wriddhiman Saha (9 not out) remained unbeaten on the crease when tea was called after flurry of wickets dismantled the batting line-up.
For the visitors, seamer Morne Morkel (3-27) and spinners Simon Harmer (2-65) and Dean Elgar (1-7) were the pick of the bowlers.
Resuming play at 85/2 after lunch, skipper Virat Kohli (22) and Cheteshwar Pujara (21) aimed to help team recover after their openers failed to give the hosts a good start. But the duo never looked to be comfortable.
In the very fourth over of the session, Harmer got the vital wicket of Pujara (21) to leave India in trouble at 94/3.
From there on, the Proteas didn’t look back, some tight bowling by both seamers and spinners followed by wickets at regular intervals crippled India.
An out-of-touch Ajinkya Rahane (13) was the first to depart in the session getting bowled by Morkel, who fooled the batsman as he got the ball to jag back in, to reduce India to 115/4.
Kohli was the next to be dismissed, who despite getting a start, was again scalped by Morkel.
Incoming batsman Rohit Sharma (2) too didn’t last long, leaving India at a spot of bother at 125/6 after choosing to bat.
The hosts lead the series 1-0 after winning the first match in Mohali and the second match being washed out in Bengaluru.