Ind vs SA, 1st Test Day 1 Live score: Post-lunch session begins in Vizag, India eye 100-run mark
Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of India's first Test against South Africa at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam. Hailed as one of the most senior campaigners in white-ball cricket, Rohit Sharma is set to audition for the role of Indian opener in Test cricket as Virat Kohli and Co. host South Africa in their home leg of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship on Wednesday.
LIVE updates of the first Test between India and South Africa:
12: 14 IST: The post-lunch session has begun on Day 1 of the first Test at Vizag. India would be raring to reach the 100-run mark as soon as possible. Mayank Agarwal has his sights set on the fifty-run milestone. SCORE IND 96/0 after 31 overs.
11: 32 IST - That's a half-century for Rohit Sharma and he achieves the milestone right before the end of the first session. Exceptional performance from the batsman who is paying as an opener for the first time in Test cricket. India sit on 91/0 at LUNCH.
11: 11 IST - Both Rohit and Agarwal have started to take the high road, with sixes coming at regular intervals. South Africa look clueless and have hence brought back Rabada in search of their first wicket of the day. Rohit, Mayank look on course to reach their respective fifties. SCORE IND 79/0 after 25 overs.
10: 55 IST - First maximum of the day and that comes from the bat of Rohit Sharma. The Hitman advances down the track to slam one over long on off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj. India, in the process, also cross the 50-run mark. SCORE IND 53/0 after 20 overs.
10: 34 IST - Both the players seem to have settled in. Not much trouble for either of the batsmen as spin bowling is introduced by South Africa. Philander and Rabada are being mixed by Faf du Plessis from the other end of the pitch. SCORE IND 37/0 after 15 overs.
10: 14 IST - A few nervy moments from the Indian batsmen, especially by Rohit but he survives those hiccups to remain on the crease. Rabada, Philander both have a clear plan of making the pair play as many deliveries closer to the off stump as possible. There is some movement of the pitch but just not sharp enough to deceive the batsmen fully as yet. SCORE IND 22/0 after 10 overs.
09: 52 IST - Both Philander and Rabada have tightened their line and lengths as they look to make the Indian duo play with deliveries closer to the stumps. Rohit and Mayank are buying time after opening their account with respective fours. 5 overs gone! IND 9/0 after 5 overs.
09: 40 IST - Rohit Sharma off the mark too, the same way as Agarwal did. He bags a boundary off Rabada's delivery to open his account as a Test opener. Some swing being witnessed early on in the game but the Proteas speedster's line isn't the best one. SCORE IND 8/0 after 2 overs.
09: 35 IST - Agarwal is off the mark with a boundary. Only one widish delivery by Philander and it got dispatched for four. India are off the mark in Vizag! Rohit gears up to face Rabada next. SCORE IND 4/0 after 1 over.
09: 30 IST: The national anthems are over and it's time for the Test series opener to begin in Vizag. Huge responsibility on the shoulders of Rabada and Philander as all spotlight falls on Rohit the opener. Philander has the new ball in his hand. He has two sips and a gully in place as Mayank Agarwal takes the strike. He too has never opened the innings for the team in India.
09: 20 IST: All eyes will be on Rohit Sharma as he will walk down the pitch for the first time as a Test opener. His battle with Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander would be interesting especially considering Philander had got the better of him in the Practice Test.
09: 12 IST - Here's how the two Playing XIs look like:
SA XI: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada
IND XI: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami
09:00 IST - TOSS! India captain Virat Kohli wins toss and elects to bat first. The pitch has absolutely no grass on it and hence batting first would be a huge advantage. The dryness of the surface forces Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis to go with just two seamers too.
08: 52 IST - King Kohli eyeing major records! It has been more of a routine for the skipper to headline series across all formats and breaking records is nothing but an avocation for the Indian run machine. Fresh from white-washing the Windies in their own backyard, Kohli is on verge of scripting new records both captain as a player.
The Indian can join the elite club owned by Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag by becoming the fourth Indian to smash 1000 runs against the Proteas. The 30-year-old can also become the fastest batsman to bet 22k international runs.
08:30 IST - Ashwin and Jadeja two faces of the same coin: Even though Ravichandran Ashwin was snubbed for the Windies where India emerged victorious by decimating their opponents across all format, Kohli has backed the senior campaigner along with in-form Ravindra Jadeja.
The two spinners will make regular appearances throughout the ICC Test Championship with Hanuma Vihari as the third wheel in spin bowling.
08:00 IST - India will enter the three-match rubber as favourites and will look to outdo a young but promising Proteas side led by numero uno Faf du Plessis. Living in the aftermath of Hashim Amla's retirement, the Proteas batting attack ash been spearhead by du Plessis, Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma while premier pacer Kagiso Rababda will bank on his Indian Premier League experience to trouble the formidable Indian batting lineup in the whites.
07:30 IST - Rishabh Pant axed: On the eve of the first Test between the two sides, Kohli and Co. named veteran wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha at the expense of struggling Rishabh Pant. The Indian skipper even hailed Saha as the best wicketkeeper in the world while announcing his return to the Indian playing eleven for the series opener.
The 34-year-old was sidelined for long after sustaining an injury but recently made his return to the Test side in the recently concluded two-Test series between India and the West Indies last August.
While Rohit will be aiming to come up a solution of the Indian opening conundrum, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha also has an opportunity to capitalise on Rishabh Pant's depleting form and cement his position in the Indian Test setup. India are also without premier seamer Jasprit Bumrah, who was earlier ruled out for the entire series owning to a stress fracture in his lower back.