Visakhapatnam: India’s opener Mayank Agarwal churned out a masterful double century against South Africa marking his maiden Test hundred. Following which India’s spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin tightened the noose around the tired South Africans on the second day of the series opener here at Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium in Vizag city on Thursday.
Playing his first Test in India, Mayank Agarwal showed remarkable courage to score 215 off 371 balls to drive India to 502 for seven in 136 overs before India’s spinners reduced the visitors 39 for three at the end of the second day of the first Test match.
In response to the commanding score, South Africa was staring down the barrel at the close of play. After losing Aiden Markram (5), Theunis de Bruyn (4) and night-watchman Dane Piedt (0) under floodlights to be 39 for three in 20 overs, the team was trailing behind India by 463 runs. With a superb turn, Ashwin dismissed Markram before Ravindra Jadeja crashed through Piedt’s defences.
While day-one was all about Rohit Sharma (176 of 244), the second day certainly belonged to Agarwal, who made full use of the friendly batting conditions. The South African pacers failed to restrict India’s batting order. Rohit and Agarwal, who began the day on 115 and 84 respectively with India at 202 for no loss, converted their opening partnership into a record-breaking 317-run stand before lunch. With superb drives across the ground, Agarwal stole the show after Rohit’s departure.
Though Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara failed to score big, India still put a thumping score of 502. Rohit and Agarwal got the boundaries against the spinners with perfect footwork, and because playing the reverse sweep became less risky.