Ashwin hopeful Siraj can return after Jansen restricts Kohli-less India

·2-min read

Ravichandran Ashwin is hopeful Mohammed Siraj can bowl again in the second Test after appearing to suffer a hamstring injury on day one as India struggled without captain Virat Kohli.

Skipper Kohli was left out of India's XI because of a back spasm, with KL Rahul leading the side in his absence.

Rahul led by example with a 128-ball 50 while Ashwin also excelled with the bat, contributing a valuable 46.

But, having elected to bat first in Johannesburg, India struggled to vindicate that decision, Marco Jansen starring with the ball for South Africa, taking 4-31 as the tourists were bowled out for 202.

Mohammed Shami removed Aiden Markram for seven in an early blow to South Africa's reply, the Proteas reaching stumps at 35-1, trailing by 167 runs.

However, India's hopes of claiming a first-innings lead appeared to be dented just before stumps when fast bowler Siraj came off the field after apparently straining his right hamstring.

Asked about Siraj, Ashwin told a media conference: "The medical staff are assessing him overnight and obviously, I think, it's very immediate so initially what they do with these injuries is they just ice and see it for the next hour or two.

"I am hoping with the history that Siraj has, he'll definitely come out and give his best."

Jansen's bright start continues

After taking 4-55 in the second innings of South Africa's first Test defeat at Centurion, which marked his debut in the longest format, Jansen continued to impress at The Wanderers.

His four-wicket haul on this occasion included the key wickets of Rahul and Ashwin, along with those of Mayank Agarwal and the dangerous Rishabh Pant, Jansen having great success mixing his lengths as he made inroads with full deliveries and the short ball.

Receiving excellent support from Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier, who each claimed 3-64, Jansen gave South Africa great hope of levelling the three-match series.

Rahul & Ashwin prop India up

If not for the efforts of two of their most dependable players in Rahul and Ashwin, India would not have much to defend.

Rahul has been the picture of consistency of late. Since the start of the still-to-be-completed series with England last year, he has scored 511 runs in 11 innings, including two half-centuries and three hundreds.

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