Ajinkya Rahane India South Africa
Ajinkya Rahane got out to a poor shotReuters

Patience, as the saying goes, is a virtue. Unfortunately, for the majority of the modern-day batsmen that particular virtue does not exist in their vocabulary as the India willow-wielders showed on day one of the third Test match against South Africa in Nagpur.

Batting has not been the skill of brilliance in this India vs South Africa Test series, with the nature of the pitches so far not as bad as perhaps has been written.

Going into this third Test match, you felt the team that bats better would win this match, especially after it became clear the wicket at the VCA Stadium was going to be a dry turner. The pitch certainly did not disappoint, with the spinners turning the ball quite a bit the moment they got that red cherry in their hands, but the batsmen, yet again, flattered to deceive.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, the onus was on India to put up a big score in the first innings and put the pressure on South Africa. They made a solid start too, as the openers allied for 50 runs. But once that partnership was broken, South Africa scythed through the top and middle order rather too easily.

It was, again, not through unplayable deliveries or unbelievable bowling that the wickets came; but from the batsmen showing a lack of patience and taking that "positive" approach a little too enthusiastically.

Unless your name is AB De Villiers, you will not get away playing expansive strokes on these kinds of pitches too often, but the India batsmen just could not resist, falling to poor shots, particularly Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, the two batsmen who needed runs in this Test match to get back in the groove.

While Dhawan fell to a really poor shot, driving when he wasn't quite to the pitch of the ball after jumping down the track, Murali Vijay was unlucky, getting one of the deliveries of the series from the excellent Morne Morkel.

Morkel was outstanding on day one, making full use of the reverse-swing that he was getting and moving the ball both ways. However, the two wickets he picked up in the second session, the wickets that halted India's charge quite a bit, were both off poor shots.

Rahane, who has not looked convincing at all playing the slower bowlers, hanging out his bat way too often in front of his pad, looked to take the attack to Morkel, who was in peak form, for some reason, and was duly punished.

This is where patience was required; a virtue you normally associate with Rahane. But instead, after getting lucky with an outside edge that did not carry, Rahane went for a big limited-overs drive, and only managed to hear the death rattle.

Kohli's wicket was all too familiar, with that bat hanging out away from his body again, and the outside edge going through to the wicketkeeper. There was absolutely no reason for Kohli to play the Morkel ball, because it was well outside off, but he just couldn't resist fishing for it and he paid for that lack of discipline.

Ravindra Jadeja, India's second highest scorer in the innings, after Murali Vijay, counter-attacked pretty well, but threw away his wicket, going for another expansive drive.

The less said about Rohit Sharma's painful stay at the crease, the better. While the right-hander showed a bit of patience during his 28-ball two-run vigil, the skill and confidence to play the spinners, in particular, wasn't there, and it was no surprise when the extra batsman that India brought in for this Test match fell without troubling the scorers too much.

India only got to 215 thanks to some good batting from the lower order and a fair few extras, and while the bowlers might bail them out again, how long can the batsmen get away with throwing away their wickets?

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