Board President's XI vs South Africa, Day 2, STUMPS: Markram, Bavuma lay solid foundation for Proteas

Updates from day two action of the warm-up game between Indian Board President's XI and South Africa in Vizianagaram.

Rohit Sharma and Faf du Plessis at the toss.   -  Twitter @OfficialCSA

Good morning and welcome to live updates from Day 2 of the warm-up game between Indian Board President's XI and South Africa in Vizianagaram.

 

STUMPS, DAY TWO: It's stumps. South Africa, at stumps, is 199 for 4 in 50 overs. Du Plessis was the last batsman to depart, for 9. He was trapped leg-before-wicket by Dharmandrasinh Jadeja.

Here's V. V. Subrahmanyam from the venue: Bad light stops play immediately after Faf du Plessis was given out lbw to to Dharmendrasinh Jadeja to leave the visitors at 199 for 4 in 50 overs on the second day against Board President's XI here in the three-day match. With dark clouds hovering again, it seems doubtful whether any further action is possible.

SA 175 for 3 in 42 overs: Aiden Markram scores his second consecutive century (100 n.o.) on this tour, off 118 deliveries, and then, retires, to give his captain Faf du Plessis a chance to bat. Du Plessis joins Bavuma in the middle.

SA 152 for 3 in 38 overs: It's tea. The South Africans have made good progress. Here's V. V. Subrahmanyam from the venue:

Aiden Markram, who scored a century in the previous match against India A, continued his good form scoring an unbeaten 86 to help South Africa score 152 for three at tea on the second day against Board President's XI at Vizianagaram on Friday. Giving him company is the confident-looking Bavuma on 31.

SA 99/3 in 26 overs: Markram continues his good form from the 'A' series and scores his fifty.  He has Temba Bavuma for company. Spinners Jalaj Saxena and Jadeja are bowling in tandem at the moment.

Update from our reporter VV Subrahmanyam from the venue: Left-arm spinner Dharmendra Jadeja strikes with his second ball to trap Hamza lbw, South Africa 78 for three in 22nd over.

SA 55/2 in 17 overs: WICKET! India's U-19 World Cup star from 2018, Ishan Porel, gets in the act too! He traps in front Theunis de Bruyn for 6.  Markram has moved along to 32 in the company of Zubayr Hamza, who walked in at no. 4. No spin introduced thus far.

SA 29/1 in 10 overs: WICKET! Umesh profits from the tight bowling from Shardul Thakur and manages to remove Elgar. The India pacer squares up the left-hander, who ends up nicking to Priyank Panchal at slips. He departs for 6. Shardulhas also kept SA's scoring rate in check in the last five overs. His current spell reads 5-1-7-0.

SA 23/0 in 6 overs: The South Africa openers have come through unscathed from the opening spell of Umesh and Shardul Thakur. Markram, in particular, seems to be enjoying the new ball having hit four boundaries already.

Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar are out to open at Dr. PVG Raju Sports Complex, Umesh has the new ball in hand.

South Africa innings

Both teams can use their full set of players in this match-up. It's a big opportunity for the likes of the uncapped Avesh Khan, Ishan Porel, Jalaj Saxena and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja to bowl against the international stars. Umesh Yadav will be raring to put his best foot forward after being drafted into the Test squad as a replacement for the injured Jasprit Bumrah.

TOSS: Faf du Plessis has won the toss and South Africa will bat first.

UPDATE: Finally, some positive news coming out of Vizianagaram. The toss will take place at 11.55 am and the play will start at 12.10 am.

 

— Day 1 washed out

Heavy rains forced abandonment of the first day's play between South Africa and the Board President's XI in the three-day warm-up game at Dr. PVG Raju Sports Complex in Vizianagaram on Thursday.

The venue experienced heavy rains this morning before giving a break around 9 a.m..

However, with the sun not coming out at all as dark clouds hovered over the ground forcing the groundstaff to keep the covers on right through and with another sharp shower around 12.30 p.m. any hopes of late start have further diminished.

The umpires finally called off play for the day after a final inspection at 1.00 p.m..

Even as the officials and the players were keeping their fingers crossed, the fans displayed typical spirit chanting 'Rohit, Rohit' the couple of times President XI captain Rohit Sharma came out of the dressing room.

BCCI senior selection panel chairman M.S.K. Prasad was there to monitor the preparations as he was the Director of Operations of Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) earlier when cricket infrastructure got a major fillip in all these small town centres.

He was also seen having a long chat with Rohit when the painful wait was on for action which eventually didn't take place.

With rains forecast later today, there is a sense of pessimism around with the untiring groundstaff who have been working overtime to see the ground fit for play.

Preview:

Rohit Sharma will begin a last-ditch effort to save his stop-start Test career with a trial run in the unfamiliar opener’s slot when he leads the Board President’s XI in a three-day warm-up game against South Africa, on Thursday.

With the national selection committee and the team management deciding to promote Rohit as an opener, keeping his spunky strokeplay in mind, the next five Tests could be a make or break for the 32-year-old stylish right-hander.

He will have Mayank Agarwal for company as the two would look to strike an understanding before the first Test starting on October 2 in Visakhapatnam.

The third notable character in the game would be Umesh Yadav, who has been drafted into the Test side as an injured Jasprit Bumrah’s replacement.

He will look to rattle the likes of Faf Du Plessis and Aiden Makram in order to make a statement.

But the focus from Thursday will undoubtedly be on Rohit.

One of the modern-day greats in the white-ball formats, Rohit’s average of 39.62 in 27 Tests, including three hundreds, doesn’t do justice to his potential.

Red-ball vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and the fast-rising Hanuma Vihari consolidated their middle-order slots with impressive performances in the West Indies and the only remaining option for Rohit was to bat at the top.

The three-day game against the quality red-ball attack of South Africa, comprising Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi, will be a good dress rehearsal before the opening game in Visakhapatnam.

Rohit’s technique against the red ball has been suspect but this is an inspired punt that Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri are ready to take keeping Virender Sehwag’s stupendous success in mind.

If it clicks, this will be considered a masterstroke but if it doesn’t, the 'A' team’s supply line of openers comprising Shubman Gill, Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal will be there.

Not to forget KL Rahul, who would look to score heavily and get his place back and Prithvi Shaw, also hungry as ever after having served a doping ban and learnt harsh lessons of life.

Even if Rohit succeeds on the low and slow sub-continental tracks, there’s no guarantee that he would be able to replicate it on the grounds in New Zealand, where Trent Boult promises to bring it back in repeatedly.

The road ahead will be tricky for one of India’s finest ODI openers as the next six months will decide his fate in the game’s traditional format.

The squads

Board President’s XI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, AR Easwaran, Karun Nair, Siddhesh Lad, KS Bharat (wk), Jalaj Saxena, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Ishan Porel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav

South Africa Test squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second.