Johannesburg – India lost both their openers to the expected barrage of South African fast bowling to reach 70/2 at lunch on the opening day of the first Test at the Wanderers on Wednesday.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, the tourists could have been in a worse situation after a tense examination of their ability to cope with the speed and accuracy of South Africa's pace arsenal.
Cheteshwar Pujara (18 not out) and Virat Kohli (32 not out) will resume after the interval, tasked with the job of building a sizeable first innings total as India battled on a wicket that has the expected pace and bounce to suit the home team's attack.
Steyn (one for 18) was menacing early on as he found side-ways movement, before More Morkel (one for six) terrorised the Indians with lifting deliveries that drew false strokes with the ball eluding the fielders on a number of occasions.
After battling to 17 without loss in the ninth over in what was purely a game of survival against Steyn, opener Shikhar Dhawan (13) decided he would take on the world's premier fast bowler.
His attempt at a hook off the third ball of the over yielded a streaky four and he offered a top-edge to Imran Tahir at fine leg when trying to repeat the shot three balls later.
Murali Vijay took 42 balls for his six runs, but eventually his patience ran out as he flashed at a wider delivery and edged Morkel to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.
Kohli took the attack to the bowlers in the latter part of the session, hitting leg-spinner Imran Tahir for two fours in the final over before the break. – Reuters