For much of today, South Africa were good. In fact, Kagiso Rabada was very good. The only problem for the visitors was that their hosts India were once again superb, even more so when it really mattered.
Rabada (3/48) found his mojo again that had seemingly gone walkabout since the IPL. He bristled in, breathed fire, and started to resemble the champion everyone knows he is. His reward was all three Indian wickets to fall on this opening day of the second Test in Pune.
The pity was that his engine only started revving up in his second spell. The first was littered with no-balls when the 24-year-old was clearly still struggling with his rhythm.
On a pitch that offered the seam bowlers significant movement off the surface, it was criminal that the new-ball did not do more damage than the lone scalp of Rohit Sharma – ironically to a beauty from Rabada that left the run-hungry Indian opener just enough to brush the outside edge.
“It was fantastic to see him bowl, especially, the spell after lunch and tea. I look for the special spells when the circumstances are tough‚ and he (Radada) bowled very well‚” Proteas bowling coach Vincent Barnes said.