Sehwag shines after Amla ensures massive total

  India’s strength lies in their batting. After the bowlers had been hammered around for 680 minuites, as the South Africans were finally dismissed for 540, it was imperative that the batting came to the party. Virender Sehwag and Wasim Jaffer did just that, playing out 21 overs as India ended day two of the first Test at the MA Chambaram Stadium here at 82-0.

Sehwag found that time enough to rustle up his 14th Test half-century, remaining unbeaten on 52, while Jaffer was 25 not out.

Jaffer has a lot to prove. He scored heavily against Pakistan, and failed with equal regularity on Australia. His retention in this Test squad was not taken to too kindly, so he had to go out there and prove that he can deliver. While it never was going to be a challenge like Australia, runs under the belt, even in a home series, are always welcome.

The visiting bowlers were not quite as accurate as skipper Graeme Smith would have liked, and for most parts, they bowled short and wide. Makhaya Ntini’s very first over saw a square-driven boundary from Sehwag, followed by a slashed six over third-man. That was not out of the Sehwag batting manual, but to see him repeat the stroke a while later was really something.

By the time the South African bowlers began to pitch it up, both batsmen were set, and the drives came out, some absolutely straight. Sehwag scored with gay abandon like he always does but Jaffer too was more active than he normally is. Left-arm spinner Paul Harris also got a bowl, but he had pretty much the same sort of impact that the Indian players did.

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