Ajinkya Rahane
India's Ajinkya Rahane plays a shot during Day 3 of the ongoing Johannesburg Test.GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

The Virat Kohli-led India team may have surrendered the ongoing three-Test series in South Africa, but the visitors came up with a morale-boosting batting performance on a spiteful wicket in Johannesburg on Friday, January 26.

Former cricketers and fans heaped praise on the Indian batsmen for their valiant show in Wanderers amidst inconsistent bounce that forced an abandonment on Day 3 of the ongoing final Test.

South African opener Dean Elgar was hit in the face when a Jasprit Bumrah delivery "kicked off", bouncing "more than usual" in the ninth over of the hosts' second innings. Even as the left-hander was attended to by the physio, the umpires intervened and took the players off the field with 19 minutes of play left in the day.

Captain Kohli and his teammates were visibly unhappy with the day's play coming to an abrupt end. The on-field drama added fuel to speculations of the match being called off.

However, it was announced later in the evening that play would continue as scheduled on Day 4, and that the umpires and match referee will continue to monitor the situation and take a call if the pitch deteriorates further.

Dean Elgar
Dean Elgar of the Proteas gets attention after been hit on the head during day 3 of the 3rd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa.Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Johannesburg pitch not dangerous: Ajinkya Rahane

Team India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane brushed aside concerns of the pitch being "dangerous." However, he called it "challenging".

The 29-year-old, who himself took quite a few blows on his body during his 68-ball 48 on Day 3, added that the team will still look to win the Test. Notably, Indian tailenders were peppered with short-pitch stuff, but the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (33) and Mohammed Shami (27) negated the situation to good effect.

Earlier in the day, Murali Vijay, who made 25 from 127 balls, was hit multiple times on the fingers, after which captain Kohli, who hit a fluent 41, suffered a similar fate and had to be attended to by the team physio.

South Africa ended Day 3 on 17/1, needing another 224 more runs to win the Test. Notably, the hosts were bowled out for 194 in the first innings after Bumrah picked up his maiden five-for in the longest format of the game.

"It [the pitch] was challenging. The wicket was similar for both teams. It was completely same for everyone. Our approach is that we want to play and we want to win this Test match," Rahane told reporters after the day's play in Johannesburg.

He added: "What about them bowling short balls to our bowlers. When Ishant, Bhuvi, Sharma were batting, everyone was bowling bouncers. I don't think it is a dangerous wicket.

"That ball [to Elgar] was back of length, hard length. It kicked off slightly more bounce than usual. The bounce on this wicket is completely natural. Not dangerous, it is completely similar for both team."

IBTimes India has compiled a list of reactions to India's valiant batting show on Day 3 of the ongoing Johannesburg Test. Check it out here.