The second day of the Johannesburg Test between India and South Africa witnessed both skippers — KL Rahul and Dean Elgar — getting engaged in a verbal duel. The incident took place while a visibly unhappy Rahul was spotted making his way back after getting dismissed off a Marco Jansen delivery in the second innings.
Batting on eight, the stand-in India skipper nicked it to the second slip as Aiden Markram dived in front to pluck the catch. Rahul wasn’t interested in walking off before the on-field umpires decided to upstairs in making a decision. Replays gave an impression of the ball being under Markram’s palms and it was enough to convince the third umpire, who gave the decision in the favour of the hosts.
After being given out, Rahul had some heated exchange of words with his counterpart as he walked off the field shaking his head in disbelief. A similar incident had happened earlier in the day when Rassie Van der Dussen was adjudged caught behind by the on-field umpire at the stroke of lunch.
There were questions on the legality of the catch taken by wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant. However, there was no conclusive evidence that the ball bounced before going into the wicketkeeping gloves.
Law 2.12 requires conclusive evidence for an on-field decision to be overturned. “An umpire may alter any decision provided that such alteration is made promptly. This apart, an umpire’s decision, once made, is final,” it reads.
India suffered their first blow in the form of Rahul in the third and final session of the day. Mayank Agarwal also departed for 23, leaving the tourists reeling at 44/2 in the second innings.
Earlier in the day, Shardul Thakur picked seven wickets to bundle out South Africa for 229 in their first innings. He recorded figures of seven for 61 with the ball and surpassed Harbhajan Singh in the list of best innings figures among the Indian bowlers in South Africa.
Shardul first removed Elgar on 28 and went on to dismiss Keegan Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen in the opening session. The 30-year-old all-rounder then went on to dismiss wicketkeeper-batter Kyle Verreynne, Temba Bavuma, Marco Jansen, and Lungi Ngidi in the second session. Apart from Thakur, Mohammed Shami picked two more wickets while Jasprit Bumrah scalped one to complete India’s turnaround on Day 2. South Africa took a slender lead of 27 runs.