| Updated at: 1708 PST, Sunday, December 26, 2010|
DURBAN: India were 74-2 at lunch after 19 overs on the first day of the second Test against South Africa at overcast Kingsmead Sunday.
Needing a victory to keep alive hopes of overall success in the three-match series, the visitors lost openers Virender Sehwag (25) and Murali Vijay (19) with 48 runs on the scoreboard.
But crisis-management experts Raul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar steadied the innings and scored 14 and 13 runs respectively by the end of an intriguing opening session.
While rain delayed the start of play by one hour in the Indian Ocean city, the forecast was that grey skies would give way to sunshine as the day progressed.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith won the toss and promptly announced he would field, believing a greenish wicket favoured his Dale Steyn-led attack as he sought a series-clinching triumph.
The host nation in a battle between teams ranked one and two in the world, with India on top, won the first Test last Monday by an innings and 25 runs at SuperSport Park between Johannesburg and Pretoria.
This left MS Dhoni-skippered India, who have a mediocre Test record in South Africa, needing to win in Durban and in Cape Town to confirm their status as the most powerful current side in the longest form of the game.
While South Africa kept faith in the victorious first Test team, India made three changes with Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujsara and Zaheer Khan coming in for Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina and Jaidev Unadkat.
A hand injury ruled out Gambhir, Raina paid the price for scoring just one and five in Centurion, and the demotion of Unadkat was inevitable once Khan recovered from a groin injury.
India survived a predictable early barrage from Steyn and Morne Morkel, but just when Vijay and Sehwag appeared to be settling, the latter fell for 25 with 10.4 overs gone and 43 runs on the scoreboard.
Steyn tempted Sehwag to drive and he accepted the invitation only to get an outside edge and all-rounder Jacques Kallis snapped up a chest-high ball at second slip.
Next in for India was Dravid, a battle-hardened campaigner renowned for his ability to ride a storm although a record of 12,000 runs in 149 Tests included just one century in South Africa.
A couple of overs later and Steyn struck again, getting his line, length and movement spot on to force an outside edge off Vijay and wicketkeeper Mark Boucher snapped up the catch to leave India 48-2 with 13 overs gone.