The much-vaunted Indian top order struggled yet again against quality fast bowling and the visitors are staring at a series defeat at the close of fourth day in the second cricket Test against South Africa at Centurion.
Chasing 287 for a win, which will be the highest ever at this venue if successful, Murali Vijay (9), Lokesh Rahul (4) and captain Virat Kohli (5) were dismissed cheaply in the final session of day as India were reduced to 35 for 3 from 23 overs at stumps on Tuesday.
Debutant Lungi Ngidi grabbed the wickets of Kohli and Rahul while Kagiso Rabada dismissed Vijay to rock the Indian second innings and place South Africa in a commanding position of clinching the three-match series with one Test to go in Johannesburg from January 24.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Parthiv Patel were batting on 11 and 5 respectively at the close of the day’s play after an extended final session.
The visitors now need 252 more runs on the final day to win the Test with seven second innings wickets in hand. It will be a tall task, if not an impossible one, for India as 249 is the highest total chased down successfully by any side at the Centurion, a feat achieved by England in 2000.
But with the series defeat looming, the reaction on social media was one of disappointment (laced with humour, of course)...
But, perhaps, the most prevalent emotion was this:
However, as one user pointed out, Kaif should himself know miracles do happen.