Daryll Cullinan: India need runs to win in South Africa

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South Africa enjoy a winning spree at Centurion like no other venue across this country with 17 wins, 2 defeats.

Vernon Philander also ran himself out for 0. They will already feel the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who in the first 30 minutes in Cape Town had sliced South Africa down to 12/3.

South Africa had resumed after lunch on 78 without loss and 23-year-old Markram seemed set for his century as he took the attack to the Indian bowlers.

Amla ended up scoring 82 off 153 deliveries, which included 14 boundaries, before he was run out by Hardik Pandya.

The Proteas captain also says that they will look for any way possible to put the Indian batsmen on the back foot.

With a 29th Test ton firmly in his sights, Amla dropped a ball from Hardik Panya onto the leg side and didn't look immediately interested in a run. It's the second time in a short career, but I'm just going to keep saying it's part of the game and try to be positive. We are a team that looks to fight back and get right back into the game we are not a team that gives opposition easy victories. But Keshav Maharaj held firm, and du Plessis showed responsibility to guide South Africa through to the close without further damage.

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India will square off against a redoubtable South Africa in the do-or-die second Test, starting in Centurion, South Africa, on Saturday.

The SuperSport Park pitch has a reputation for being one of the most hard places to bat but 39 centuries have been scored in the past and Indian batsmen need to show the required dedication and commitment to keep this three-match Test series alive. But I don't think he has ever led from the front and that has been a problem with him. "It could have so easily been a game where they could have run away with it after the second session".

The India quicks, Shami aside, had been well disciplined, but Jasprit Bumrah was taken for 13 in an over before Virat Kohli wasted a review for caught behind when he thought Elgar had edged Ashwin through to Parthiv.

Markram has two test centuries and two half-centuries in his first five tests and has been out in the 90s twice now in his first seven test innings. Talking about the missed hundred, Markram said, "Obviously, I am bitterly disappointed". What I got from the groundsman was that it was burnt from the heat. The vice-captain was certain to replace R Ashwin but the sudden disappearance of the grass from the Centurion wicket on Test eve has got the team management into serious thinking. India last played a test in the venus way back in 2010-11 series and they were hammered by an innings and 25 runs on that occasion.

Ashwin doesn't have great statistics in South Africa, England and Australia, but he has rarely been handed out conditions that make him a factor. In all, he hit nine fours during the course of his innings.