Hardik Pandya came out to bat when India was reeling at 82/7. In the next 95 balls he faced, he smashed 15 boundaries at a brisk strike rate of 97.89. Bhuvneshwar Kumar did well to prolong the partnership. India was eventually bundled out for 209. Right at the stroke of stumps on the second day, Pandya got rid of Aiden Markham and Dean Elgar, with Proteas still leading by 142 runs in the second innings.
Whtan innings #SAed & then quick wickets #HardikPandya!gettg in2 batter-pacerbowler allrounder mode!superhappy.hope teammates let dis nt go waste.#HardikPandya-#BhuvneshwarKumar constant chat&confirmation is what's required than just mid-pitch formalities/xchanges👏🏏#INDvSApic.twitter.com/tCO3kVO719— PRABEEN PATI (@prabeennet) 6 January 2018
After Heroic Performance In Batting (93 Off 95 Balls), Hardik Pandya Took 2 Wickets In Just 4 Overs. #HardikPandya Is A Legend In Making. What A Talent. 💪🙏🇮🇳#INDvSA#INDvsSA#SAvIND#SAvsIND@hardikpandya7@harbhajan_singh— Prince Rai⚫🇮🇳 (@Rai4Prince) 6 January 2018
The hosts faced a major setback later in the day when Dale Steyn was ruled out of the Test series following a damaged tissue in his left hill. Steyn will not be bowling in this match but will bat if needed. This provides a little breathing space for the Indian batsmen going into the crucial fourth innings of the opening test.
Steyn out injured on the 2nd day of the Test, good for SA that they've still got 3 very good fast bowlers in their ranks.This is why there's the need of the Super Sub rule to come into full effect#SAvIND— Abhay Chaudhary (@ImAbhay3) 6 January 2018
Earlier in the day, both Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara had fallen prey to Vernon Philander. Steyn's second and only victim of the day was Wriddhiman Saha, with an LBW. Young Rabada picked up three wickets in the day and was at his very best delivering some thunderbolts.
Dale Steyn+Vernon Philander vs Cheteshwar Pujara, proper contest. The bowlers having an upper hand, ofcourse. #SAvIND— Samreen (@SamreenRazzaqui) 6 January 2018
Very impressed with the way @KagisoRabada25 is developing himself, bowled his heart out today, provided the initial breakthrough by trapping RG, then broke the Pandya code.. A future star for sure... #SAvIND#FreedomSeries#ProteaFire— Bodhisatya Das (@bodhiCHE) 6 January 2018
When a leader demonstrates authentic leadership - the captain hugs the fast bowler, kisses him on the forehead, showing appreciation. No machismo. No dull grunt. Fantastic example-setting. Well done! @faf1307@KagisoRabada25#SAvIND#inspiration#ProteaFirepic.twitter.com/R9oSvFnozq— Eugene Oppelt (@eugene_oppelt) 6 January 2018
But it was Pandya’s day, as he boldly drove to anything that was pitched in his half. He was especially flamboyant against the short stuff. He got hit as well, in the unprotected midriff but seemed unstoppable until he was caught behind, just seven short of a glorious test hundred.
What a Fighter HE is!! I don't know how can anyone surprise us each & every time with his Talent.— Neerag Heda (@theneerag_heda) 6 January 2018
Hardik Pandya, his name is enough to surprise us.
Please keep surprising us @hardikpandya7 , You are Awesome.#HardikPandya#IndvsSA#INDvSA#SAvIND#SAvsIND
The possibilities are endless going into the ‘moving day’ of this Test match. The pitch will start playing more tricks, hence it is imperative for the Indian team that they make early inroads. If they do so, Virat Kohli would push his team to go for the kill. For South Africa though, the equation is much simpler; to bat India out of the game.
Hardik Pandya, if his wicket taking continues tomorrow and he keeps South Africa down to a total that India chase successfully, would have earned one of the most obvious man of the match awards in recent cricket history #HardikPandya#indiacricket#allroundperformance#cricket— Satpreet Rihal (@SatpreetRihal) 6 January 2018
We saw the maturity, temperament and potential of Pandya today who got India out of a massive hole to a respectable score that still keep them in the test just about but with the wicket flatting out day 3 could be very long for India's bowlers #SAvIND— Dipesh Shah (@dipeshshaha) 6 January 2018