IND vs SA, 1st Test Day 1: Rain forces early stumps after Rohit ton

Rain forced early stumps on day one of the first Test against South Africa, with Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal putting India in command.

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On his opening debut in Tests, Rohit Sharma scored his 11th fifty and has looked solid.   -  K.R. Deepak

Highlights from day one of the first Test between India and South Africa in Visakhapatnam.

 

So that's that. After a bright start, steady rain has forced early stumps on day one at Vizag. Powered by Rohit Sharma's fourth Test century, India ends the day at 202 for no loss. Mayank Agarwal, batting on 84, and Rohit unbeaten on 115, as India will look to take the momentum to day two — if rain stays away.

 

3:33 pm | Update from the ground: "Much brighter now, the clouds are clearing but the steady drizzle persists meaning the covers continue to be firmly in place."

3:06 pm | Update from the ground: "The drizzle has relented, but only just. It has got brighter since the last update but the covers are still on and we are yet to receive an update on the resumption of play."

2:55 pm | Our reporter at the venue, Ayan Acharya, updates: "Looks very bleak at the moment. There's a steady drizzle over the ground accompanied by lightning and thunder. The covers are on in full force."

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The entire ground is under covers.   -  AYAN ACHARYA

 

A story for you to read as we await play to resume: Rohit shows promise to excel and entertain

2:29pm: The floodlights are one, pouring down and the whole ground under plastic sheets. The third session play doesn't look like happening.

202/0 in 59.1 overs | Some dark clouds above the Dr Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium and the bad light has forced an early tea by about five minutes. Rohit Sharma's batting on 115, with Mayank Agarwal on 84. South Africa bowlers have toiled hard and will feel they deserve better than the nought in the wickets column. The third session is scheduled to start by 2.30pm.

178/0 in 54 overs | Fourth Test century for Rohit Sharma and first as an opener. He cuts Senuran Muthusamy to deep cover to bring up the century. The buzz was all about him pre-match and will continue to be so, for all the right reasons. A calm innings from the Hit Man.

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All four of Rohit Sharma's Test centuries have come at home.   -  K. R. Deepak

 

163/0 in 50 overs | A couple of sixes off off-spinner Dane Piedt in typical Rohit Sharma style takes him to 93. The ball wasn't all that flighted and Rohit didn't really get to the pitch of the ball, but because of the lack of turn he goes through with the shot and the ball goes deep into the stands. The sixes came after Rohit was denied a single by an athletic piece of fielding from Temba Bavuma, who stopped a firmly-hit drive fielding at short midwicket to Piedt. At the other end, Keshav Maharaj is trying to choke the batsmen and has not been afraid to experiment with his release - bowling a few balls with a round-arm action - as a variation. But he's not getting much purchase off the surface.

139/0 in 46 overs | Drinks break A breather for the South African bowlers and they'll need this to gather their thoughts. With every passing over, the pitch is going to get difficult and they need wickets soon. Rohit, meanwhile, is 20 runs away from his fourth Test century.

135/0 in 44 overs Rohit Sharma has regained his rhythm following a barren spell after lunch. He's pulled Kagiso Rabada off the front-foot for fours in the last couple of overs and together with Mayank Agarwal, has rotated strike consistently. Keshav Maharaj is experimenting with his releasing by bowling from wide of the crease and with a bit of a round-arm but it's not bringing him the reward in the form of wickets.

123/0 in 40 overs A good start for India after lunch. Runs have come more steadily in this session, with the openers adding 32 runs in four overs. South Africa desperately needs a wicket here but where will it come from?

110/0 in 36.4 overs | Mayank Agarwal brings up his fifty with a maximum! He makes room on the front foot and slams it over extra cover.

 

103/0 in 35.3 overs | Century stand for the opening pair! This is India's first 100 run partnership since July 2018 in Tests. In this period India has tried 6 opening combinations, with 24 innings having passed without a century stand.

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Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma have built a solid foundation on the opening day of the first Test against South Africa.   -  AP

 

The second session begins with Rohit Sharma on strike. Keshav with the first over post-lunch.

LUNCH A very good opening session for India as Rohit and Mayank lay a solid foundation. On his opening debut in Tests, Rohit scored his 11th fifty while Mayank at the other end has also looked solid. Kohli winning the toss was crucial. Both Rabada and Philander bowled probing lines with the new ball. They troubled the batsmen initially but once the opening pair settled, it was a steady progress for them. We'll back in 40 minutes.

91/0 in 29 overs | FIFTY FOR ROHIT SHARMA! Top edge off Muthusamy's last ball, the ball is the air but falls just beyond the diving backward square leg fielder and runs away to the boundary.

 

84/0 in 27 overs Debutant Senuran Muthusamy is brought into the attack. The left arm orthodox bowler's first three balls are well defended before Rohit shows his class as he picks up four runs. Steps out of the crease, uses his wrists and smacks it past mid-wicket.

79/0 in 25 overs Rabada comes back into the attack and Mayank gives him a maiden. So much of the pre-match talk has understandably been about Rohit the opener but he has started well here. A good foundation has been slowly built but the question now is, can be build on that?

79/0 in 24.3 overs Rohit smacks another maximum and the long-on watches it sail over his head.

68/0 in 22.3 overs Another six and this time off Mayank's bat. He steps out to meet Piedt's length ball and lifts it straight down the ground.

52/0 in 19.1 overs The first six of the match and surprise surprise it comes off Rohit's bat! Comes down the track, reads Keshav's flighted delivery and smacks it over the long on boundary. It also brings up the fifty partnership for the opening pair.

Ayan updates from the ground: Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal have safely negotiated the first hour. Philander and Rabada bowled probing new-ball spells but first-time Test opener Rohit and Mayank were up for the challenge with the Mumbaikar improvising by walking down the pitch to counter Philander's movement. However, the extreme humidity in Vizag means Du Plessis has to use his pacers in shorter spells.

46/0 in 19 overs  Dane Piedt, right-arm off break, replaces Keshav. Mayank greets him a maiden.

46/0 in 18 overs Keshav and Phlander are sticking well to their line and length. Mayank manages a four off the former, hitting the flighted ball hard to the point boudnary.

40/0 in 16 overs Quinton de Kock comes to the stumps as Philander continues. Just three runs off the over as Rohit and Mayank handle him with relative ease.

37/0 in 15 overs It is time for drinks. Rohit and Mayank have held firm while the South African bowlers have gotten the maximum out of this pitch in humid conditions.

35/0 in 13.4 overs Mayank drives Philander on the front foot and gets four runs through the gap through extra cover.

30/0 in 12.5 overs Excellent timing from Mayank off Keshav. No power on that shot. Gives himself room and sends the ball rolling past Rohit.

26/0 in 12 overs Keshav and Rabada with back-to-back maidens. Not a lot is happening for the batsmen here with the bowlers being consistent with line and length.

22/0 in 10 overs Another maiden for Rabada. Each ball is travelling at 140+ and Rohit understandably plays it safe. The seamers have tested the batsmen on the fuller front and on the back of length. Excellent spell.

22/0 in 9 overs South Africa brings spin into the attack. Left arm orthodox Keshav Maharaj keeps things tight, just three runs off the over. Rohit, who is always on the charge in T20s and ODIs, goes easy on Keshav.

19/0 in 7.5 overs Loud appeal from Rabada and his teammates for lbw. Good length delivery that beat Mayank on the inside edge. Gets hit no the thigh pad but it looks a little high and sliding down the leg. Faf briefly thinks about a review but opts not to. Replays show that it was a good call from the New Zealand umpire.

19/0 in 6.3 overs Rohit makes a good connection and hits the back of the length delivery through backward point for a four.

 

15/0 in 6 overs Mayank gets the over going with two runs off a back-foot punch. He lets the ball come to his bat, opens up and places his shot square of cover. The pace of Rabada helps the ball fly away before it is stopped at the boundary. One ball later, a leading edge sees the ball go between third slip and gully for his second boundary of the day.

9/0 in 5 overs Another excellent over from Philander, a maiden at that. Despite bowling a tad slower than Rabada, Rohit is having a tough time facing the 34-year-old with the way the ball is moving.

9/0 in 4 overs Rabada betters Philander and follows up with a maiden over. Mayank defends at the crease with confidence on the first ball before five balls, averaging 135-ish k/h, are left untouched. Good start from the bowling pair here.

9/0 in 3 overs Just one run off Philander's second over, which comes from Mayank's bat. After starting in style, the T-20 batsman in Rohit takes a backseat as he opts to let four balls go without attacking them.

8/0 in 1.2 overs Kagiso Rabada into the attack now and Rohit Sharma greets him with a four off the first ball. Opens his bat and and sends the ball fizzing past the backward point fielder.

4/0 in 0.3 overs First runs for India and also the first boundary of the match. Wide-ish on the offside and a nice cover drive from Mayank sees the ball race away.

0/0 in 0.1 overs Vernon Philander will the first ball. Two slips and a gully in place.  It is nice and straight, an inswinger and Mayank Agarwal defends it on the front foot.

Toss update: India wins toss and opts to bat. South Africa has decided to go in with five bowlers — three spinners, two pacers.

India: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami

South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada

8:59am: Sunil Gavaskar in his pitch report says it is a win toss and bat first track. Spinners will come into play on day two and batting won't be easy from day three.

8:50am: Ayan from the ground reports that it is a bit overcast or else looks fine. Toss coming up in 10 minutes.

 

After a Test series win in the West Indies, the Virat Kohli-led Indian side moves back to the comfort zone of home conditions. The playing XI was announced yesterday with Wriddhiman Saha getting a nod ahead of Rishabh Pant.

 

Focus will be on Rohit Sharma as he will be opening the batting with Mayank Agarwal. Moreover, India is going into the match with two spinners and two pacers. For more, read Ayan Acharya's detailed preview, who will also be chipping in with regular updates from the ground.