Faf du Plessis offered a wry smile and joked about hand tricks as South Africa lost a ninth successive toss in Asia. But having to bowl first on the first morning in Pune was not half as bad as it had been in Visakhapatnam. The pace and bounce on this “much harder” wicket acted as a springboard of sorts at the top of Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander’s runups. The two bowlers beat the bat multiple times in the first hour, but had only one wicket to show for their efforts as Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara offset the jitters with a soild half-century partnership.

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