Persistent rain washes out day two at Centurion

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Clearer weather is expected on days three and four, but there is more rain forecast for day five

India 272 for 3 (Rahul 122*, Rahane 40*, Ngidi 3-45) vs South Africa

Persistent rain washed out day two at Centurion, with the umpires calling off play at 1.55pm local time. There had been overnight rain in the Centurion area, and intermittent showers through the morning and afternoon ensured there was no possibility of play.

The weather relented twice, causing the umpires to announce inspections at 11.30am – with an early lunch taken – and 12.45pm, but rain returned on both occasions to dampen hopes of a resumption.

Clearer weather is expected on days three and four, but there is more rain forecast for day five, meaning there is likely to be further time lost and a diminished chance of a decisive result. Conditions so far have not been conducive to flurries of wickets, with the pitch playing flat apart from the occasional instance of inconsistent bounce.

Given the state of the game, the washout has probably caused more frustration in India’s camp than South Africa’s. At stumps on day one, the visitors had laid a strong platform, moving to 272 for 3 with the centurion KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease, having already put on 73 for the fourth wicket.

Rahul was also involved in stands of 117 for the first wicket with Mayank Agarwal, who made 60, and 82 for the third wicket with Virat Kohli. Lungi Ngidi was the only wicket-taker for South Africa, ending day one with figures of 3 for 45.

As such, day two’s biggest development came off the field, with CSA confirming that Duanne Olivier had missed out on selection owing to the lingering effects of Covid-19, which he tested positive for a few weeks ago, and a hamstring niggle. The left-arm seamer Marco Jansen, chosen in Olivier’s place, endured a tough start to his Test career, ending day one with figures of 0 for 61 in 17 overs.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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