Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane may have only one more innings left to save their Test careers after their dismissals on Day 1 of the second Test against South Africa in Johannesburg on Monday. Pujara and Rahane fell off consecutive deliveries from Proteas fast bowler Duanne Olivier.
Olivier, making his comeback in international cricket after an absence of nearly three years, first got Pujara with some extra bounce. Pujara looked to defend but the ball hit the shoulder of the bat and looped right into the hands of Temba Bavuma at point.
Rahane then felt for a ball outside off and it took his outside edge before flying into the hands of Keegan Pietersen at gully diving to his right. Pujara had scored three runs off 33 balls while Rahane was out for a golden duck.
“After those two dismissals one can say that they probably have just the next innings, both Pujara and Rahane, to save their Test careers,” said Gavaskar while doing commentary after the two senior batters were dismissed.
“There have been questions asked about their place in the team and now with these two dismissals they have just one innings left. If there is another innings and the way India is going, it looks like there will be another for them to score something and maybe keep their place in the team,” the former India captain further said.
Openers Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul, who is captain of the team in the second Test in the absence of Virat Kohli, put up an opening stand of 36 runs after which Pujara and Rahul looked set to take India through to lunch. But the two wickets from Olivier turned the tide in South Africa’s favour.