Rohit Sharma continued his dream Test, following his hundred in the first innings, with an unbeaten half-century in the second to take India to 175/1 at tea on Day 4 of the Vizag Test. Assisting him was Cheteshwar Pujara, who recorded his 21st half-century in Tests. Together, Rohit and Pujara helped India pile 143 runs in the session, stretching the overall lead to 246 against South Africa.
India dominated the session with Rohit bringing up a half-century in fine fashion. During the innings, Rohit also overtook Navjot Sidhu’s tally of most sixes by an Indian in a Test match. Besides, Rohit’s half-century was also his seventh consecutive 50-plus score in India and increased his match tally to __ runs and counting, the most by a cricketer playing as an opener in his first Test.
But as clinical as Rohit was, it was Pujara who took the bowling by the scruff of its neck. He was 8 off 61, before accelerating and moving to 46 off 88. The shackles were broken by Pujara scoring back-to-back boundaries off Dane Piedt, followed with four more in eight balls off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj. Piedt went short but Pujara rocked onto the backfoot and cleared midwicket. With a thumping square drive off Rabada, Pujara brought up his first fifty in five Test innings.
Rabada peppered Pujara outside off and the move almost worked, twice. Poking at the ball outside off, he edged the ball twice between wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock and first slip. South Africa could have also had Rohit had Senuran Muthusamy not been too relaxed at long on. On fifty, Rohit tried clearing the boundary before the debutant seemed to have taken the catch, but replays showed the ball was yet to be released from his hand when the foot touched the boundary cushions.
The assault continue as the second session stretched into the additional half hour to make up for the loss of play on Day 1. A flurry of boundaries between Pujara and Rohit brought up their 150-run stand, with Rohit finding the vacant gap on the offside off Maharaj. Off the last ball before tea, South Africa went upstairs for an LBW call, but Pujara was saved by an inch.