South Africa v India Tests - Men
India fury at DRS as Proteas eye series victory
Rishabh Pant's superb ton saves India amid dramatic late collapse, and South Africa are well poised at two wickets down but still need 111 more to win on a difficult batting surface
14 January 2022, 07:28 AM AEST
India's Rishabh Pant scored a superb unbeaten century but hosts South Africa have made major strides towards winning a thrilling third Test and the series.
But the thrilling play was overshadowed by an unsavoury reaction from India players and officials after Proteas captain Dean Elgar had an LBW verdict overturned on review.
India had started the day in the ascendancy with Virat Kohli and Pant putting on 94 runs for the fifth wicket but Kohli's dismissal sparked a collapse that saw India lose 6-46 to be all out for 198.
The Proteas then reached the close on 2-101 in pursuit of 212 at Newlands on Thursday, still requiring another 111 for victory.
Elgar (30) and Keegan Petersen (48 not out) had put on 78 for the second wicket in a partnership that swung the match in the home side's favour.
Yet Elgar was out with what proved to be the last ball of the day with a strangle down the leg side as he edged seamer Jasprit Bumrah to Pant.
That dismissal could yet prove key as the captain had been South Africa's matchwinner in the second Test with his 96.
India had earlier been furious when Elgar had an LBW verdict overturned by the ball-tracking technology when on 22.
The delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin was deemed to be bouncing over the top of the wicket, and the livid Indian players could be heard over the stump mics criticising the technology.
KL Rahul, India's vice-captain was heard over the stump mic saying: "It's the whole country against 11 guys."
And Ashwin went further, calling out the host broadcaster when he said: "You should find better ways to win, SuperSport."
India's captain went further, deliberately walking up to the stumps and speaking into the mic to say: "Focus on your team while they shine the ball. Not just the opposition. Trying to catch people all the time."
This would appear to be a reference to the events in Cape Town in 2018 when SuperSport cameras played a role in uncovering Australia's ball tampering, with now infamous pictures of sandpaper being used on the ball then hidden down the front of trousers.
SuperSport uses technology from Hawk-Eye Innovations – the same providers who work with the ICC and the BCCI, among others.
India's bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said after play: "We saw it, you saw it. I'll leave that for the match referee to have a look at it.
"There's nothing I can comment on it now. We've seen it all, just want to move on with the game now.
"Every individual out here is trying his best. Sometimes in a moment like this, people do say certain things. It's a game.
"I think it's fair we just move on. Everyone is trying their best. Emotions do come into play sometimes."
Was it the right decision? 🤔 Shaun Pollock and Sunil Gavaskar discuss the use of hawkeye after Umpire adjudged Dean Elgar out lbw but reversed his decision as the tracking technology showed the ball going over the wicket... pic.twitter.com/k9w9ajisE1— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) January 13, 2022
On-field umpire Marais Erasmus, who gave the LBW verdict, was seen shaking his head and mouthing 'that's impossible' after the DRS verdict.
Proteas seamer Lungi Ngidi said he trusted the technology, adding: "We've seen it on numerous occasions being used all around the world. It's the system in place. That's what we use as cricketers.
"Reactions like that show a bit of frustration and sometimes teams capitalise on that.
"You never want to show so much emotion, but we could see emotions were high. That tells us they are feeling a little bit of pressure."
A fourth innings target of more than 200 has been successfully chased only three times in 133 years at Newlands as India seek to claim a first ever series win in South Africa.
But one of those was when the hosts managed 211 for the loss of five wickets against India in 2007.
They also successfully chased 240 in the fourth innings of the second Test of this series in Johannesburg.
"If you had come to us in the morning and asked if we would take 101 for two (chasing 212), we would have taken that and run," South Africa seamer Lungi Ngidi told reporters.
"We are in a pretty good position. Another strong partnership and we are well in this game."
In India's second innings, there were kept afloat by a dazzling effort from wicketkeeper Pant, who had cracked 100 not out from 139 balls.
Apart from Pant, Kohli's 29 was the only other score more than 10.
Pant showed his array of attacking strokes and looked far more in control than any batsman in the Test so far.
South Africa bowled without much luck, beating the bat with regularity, but it is the first time in Test history that all 20 wickets to fall in a match for one team were caught.
Ngidi (3-21), Kagiso Rabada (3-53) and Marco Jansen (4-36) grabbed the wickets for the home side.
"We just tried to stick to the basics and keep it as tight as possible," Ngidi said. "When the wickets start to tumble it happens quickly (on this pitch)."