India vs South Africa, 3rd Test Day 1: Rohit, Rahane power host to 224/3 before rain stops play

Rohit Sharma remains not-out on 117 and Ajinkya Rahane is not-out on 83 as their unbeaten 185-run partnership helped India end the day on top against Proteas.

Rohit Sharma (117*) and Ajinkya Rahane (83*) bailed Indian out of trouble after South African pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje made early inroads.   -  AP

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's LIVE coverage of day one of the third Test match between India and South Africa Test at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.

This was Shivansh Gupta keeping you company throughout the day's play.

[END OF DAY 1]

Until then, this is Shivansh Gupta bidding you all goodbye. CIAO!

Thank you so much for joining us. Do join us tomorrow at 9:30 am for day of two of the Ranchi Test.

THAT'S IT! Play has been called off due to bad light and rain. That's all the action we have for you today.

These aren't encouraging signs. The covers are on and it might as well be the end of the day's play.

 

Weather update: "It's gone very dark, but no rain yet," informs our reporter Ayan Acharya.

India 224/3 | 3:00 PM

Overs- 58

Sharma 117(164), Rahane 83(135)

 

CONFIRMATION: Bad light has stopped play. Just 58 overs have been bowled today.

Dark clouds, really dark clouds, are looming over the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi and the that's surely going to worry the umpires. South Africa, on the other hand, won't really mind.

India 219/3 | 2:55 PM

Overs- 57

Sharma 112(161), Rahane 83(132)

Rohit and Rahane have put up 184 runs for the fourth wicket and have set a new record of highest 4th wicket partnership in Tests against South Africa.

 

---START OF SESSION 3, DAY 1---

The first session belonged to South Africa, but the second to India. Total domination from both the batsmen. Both Rahane and Rohit upped the ante and started scoring more freely. Hence, emphasizing on the beauty of Test cricket that perseverance pays in rich dividents.

---END OF SESSION 2, DAY 1---

India 205/3 | 2:15 PM

Overs- 52

Sharma 107(149), Rahane 74(114)

THAT'S TEA! This session completely belongs to India. 134 runs without losing a single wicket. Rohit and Rahane have put the hosts in a very strong position and if the visitors do not find a breakthrough early in the next session, India might end up scoring big again. Last time it did, we all know what happened.

India 200/3 | 1:45 PM

Overs- 48.4

Sharma 107(140), Rahane 70(103)

 

200 up for the hosts! The two have now stitched up a partnership of 161 off just 202 balls.

India 184/3 | 1:45 PM

Overs- 45

Sharma 101(132), Rahane 60(91)

 

With this century, Rohit Sharma has crossed 2000 runs in Test cricket!

HUNDRED NO.3 OF THE SERIES FOR ROHIT SHARMA! He gets to the milestone in grand fashion by smashing Dane Piedt for a six! He has repaid the faith of his skipper and his coach by delivering yet again and bailing his team out of trouble. He has hit four sixes and 13 boundaries and taken 132 balls to get there.

India 169/3 | 1:22 PM

Overs- 43

Sharma 92(127), Rahane 55(83)

 

STAND AND DELIVER! Minimum effort and maximum result! Rohit Sharma is turning it on in Ranchi with a flurry of boundaries, including two sixes in quick succession. The Indian opener moves into the 90s.

India 148/3 | 1:22 PM

Overs- 38.3

Sharma 75(112), Rahane 50(70)

 

RAHANE GETS TO HIS FIFTY! 21st Test 50 for the the vice-skipper. He started off slow and was happy to see off the Proteas bowlers in the first session. However, he resumed after lunch with a more attacking mindset and has been able to find gaps more comfortably. This partnership is now worth 109.

India 139/3 | 1:10 PM

Overs- 37.0

Sharma 67(106), Rahane 49(67)

 

100 PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN RAHANE AND ROHIT! Runs are now coming thick and fast for Rohit Sharma.  After negotiating a tough opening session, Rohit has been able to find boundaries with ease and Rahane is scoring at a healthy strike-rate of 73.

India 115/3 | 12:40 PM

Overs- 30.0

Sharma 50(89), Rahane 40(42)

 

FIFTY UP! A beautiful drive past the mid-off fielder with a full show off the surface of the bat by Rohit Sharma to get past fifty. Eight boundaries and a six and it has taken him 89 balls. Rahane is nearing his half-century as India's score crosses the 100 mark.

India 92/3 | 12:26 PM

Overs- 27.0

Sharma 42(79), Rahane 27(34)

And he beats Rohit on the very first ball. Be it the first over or the 27th, Rabada is making the ball talk.

Change in bowling: Rabada is brought back into the attack.

India 76/3 | 12:15 PM

Overs- 24.0

Sharma 42(72), Rahane 12(22)

 

CUT AND FOUR! Rohit starts a cracking boundary through the off-side. Rohit moves into the 40s.

Welcome back for the second session of the day. Linde will resume. Rahane will take first strike and here we go.

---START OF SESSION 2, DAY 1---

 

Our reporter Ayan Acharya recaps the session:

A good game of Test cricket is perhaps the best way to describe the first session of play at the JSCA stadium in Ranchi.

On a nippy morning with the sun playing hide-and-seek, Kagiso Rabada put on an exhibition of fast bowling, reaffirming his status as one of the world's best.

Aided by swing and pace, he prised out in-form batsmen Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara before Anrich Nortje became the second South African on the tour, after Senuran Muthusamy, to remove Virat Kohli for his maiden Test wicket.

Rohit Sharma, albeit with intermittent strokes of fortune, seems to have got his eye in and has hit some delightful looking boundaries.

He has Ajinkya Rahane for company and the two Mumbaikars have a huge task ahead of them.

After two Tests of drudgery, South African bowlers have finally wrested the initiative from India, for now.

---END OF SESSION 1, DAY 1---

 

India 71/3 | 11:30 AM

Overs- 23.0

Sharma 38(68), Rahane 11(20)

 

LUNCH!

Change in bowling: Debutant George Linde is brought on.

India 43/3 | 10:50 AM

Overs- 16.0

Sharma 17(43), Rahane 4(3)

Rahane clips the second ball behind square for a couple and gets off the mark.

New batsman in: Ajinkya Rahane walks out to bat.

Kohli 12 (22, 2x4) lbw Nortje

SHOUT FOR LBW AND GIVEN! Anrich Nortje claims his maidenTest wicket and he gets one of the best batsman in the world. Virat Kohli is beaten for pace and sharp inward movement by Nortje. He was late on the shot and the umpire raised his finger in no time. Kohli, after consulting with Sharma, did go for the review and the replay showed that the ball was clipping the top of leg. India retains its review, courtesy umpire's call.

Brilliant first hour for the Proteas. Kagiso Rabada has been brilliant and just like the past two test matches, he has started off well.

India 25/2 | 10:30 AM

Overs- 12.0

Sharma 7(31), Kohli 8 (13)

 

KOHLI STARTS POSITIVELY! He has already smashed two boundaries. Can't be too straight to Virat, he will put you away down the fine leg all day long.

 

Change in bowling: Anrich Nortje is introduced into the attack.

India 21/2 | 10:20 AM

Overs- 10.0

Sharma 7(26), Kohli 0 (7)

 

WICKET| Kagiso Rabada strikes! Pujara has been vulnerable against deliveries swinging in. Rabada set him up with a series of in-swingers and out-swingers and the batsman tried to defend with a bit of gap between the bat and pad.

New batsman in: Skipper Virat Kohli walks out to bat.

C Pujara 0(9) lbw b Rabada

SHOUT AND NOT-OUT! Rabada welcomes Pujara with a vicious inswinger that rams into Pujara's pads. He got rooted in the crease and failed to play the back-foot punch on time. Proteas appealed and the umpire was right to give it not-out as the ball was going over the stumps. Good stuff by Rabada already!

India 12/1 | 09:55 AM

Overs- 5.0

Sharma 2(11), Pujara 0(0)

 

New batsman in- Cheteshwar Pujara walks out to bat.

Agarwal 10(19, 2x4) ct Elgar b Rabada

EDGED AND IT'S CARRIED THIS TIME! OUT! Mayank had edged the ball on four occasions previously and none of those carried, but a stern Rabada didn't give up. He kept pitching it up and curving the ball away and finally got the edge off Mayank's bat to carry to the slip cordon.

India 7/0 | 09:40 AM

Overs- 2.0

Agarwal 6(10), Sharma 1(2)

Lungi Ngidi goes full straightaway too and he is also getting movement in the air. Sharma defends it without a problem. He gets off the mark on the next delivery with a quick single towards square leg. Just one off Ngidi's first over.

 

India 6/0 | 09:35 AM

Overs- 1.0

Agarwal 6(6), Sharma 0(0)

Good delivery start with. Pitched up ball that swung away from the right-hander. Next ball, Agarwal fends off a straight one onto his pads safely for a brace to get off the mark. The first boundary of the Test match comes off Agarwal's batch. Just a little bit of a push on an outswinger and the ball races past the point fielder off the edge of the bat for four runs.

 

FIRST BALL OF THE THIRD TEST MATCH AND HERE WE GO!

Rabada to Agarwal.

Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma walk out to open the innings. For Proteas, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi to share the new ball.

 

---START OF SESSION 1, DAY 1---

TOSS- India has won the toss and elected to bat first.

RELATED | Jharkhand spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has been rewarded with a spot in the playing XI in the third and final Test against South Africa in Ranchi. India captain Virat Kohli handed him the debut cap. Read more about his test debut here

 

 

Team news:

  • Shahbaz Nadeem is making his Test debut today on his home ground. Ishant given a rest.
  • For Proteas, spinner George Linde makes his test debut. Quinton de Kock will open the batting. Heinrich Klassen to keep wickets and Ngidi also finds a place in the playing 11.

SQUADS

INDIA PLAYING XI:  Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

SOUTH AFRICA PLAYING XI: Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klassen, George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi

 

PITCH REPORT: A few cracks on day 1 and when the ball will keep landing on this, then it will grip and turn. Batting will not be easy aw batters will need to apply themselves. This is a pitch made for spinners. Expect lots of turn.

100
 

 

 

WEATHER UPDATE: Our reporter Ayan Acharya in Ranchi tells us that it's  a little foggy and overcast in the city. No chances of rain and we will have the start on time as scheduled.

 

ALSO READ: Wriddhiman Saha, Rishabh Pant and their glovework kinship, reports Ayan Acharya.

 

PREVIEW: Our reporter Ayan Acharya, who will be bringing you all the latest happenings from Ranchi, previews the final Test.

Watching South Africa bowl to the Indian batsmen in Pune was like being transported from 22 yards of dirt and green to a boxing ring, where Virat Kohli and Mayank Agarwal weren't cutting, pulling or driving but throwing punches until the opposition was rattled.

If there were any doubts about the outcome of the series after Visakhapatnam, then they were quickly dispelled in Pune. The third and final match, in Ranchi, now merely provides South Africa with an opportunity to salvage some proverbial pride. Kohli and co., on the other hand, will eye a 3-0 scoreline to further strengthen their hold at the top of the World Test Championship points table.

The thumping innings and 137-run win in the second Test may have given India an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series, but Kohli has warned that his team won't take the 'foot off the gas' in the third Test.

India's bowling attack, especially at home, has the look of a winner. Mohammad Shami's three five-wicket hauls in the second innings since 2018 is the most by any bowler. His 41 wickets in 16-second innings, at an average of 18.09, have given Kohli the option of banking on his pacers on day four and day five sub-continent tracks where traditionally spinners have held sway. If there's wear and tear and the ball reverses, Shami can be lethal.

Yadav wasn't originally part of India's squad but was drafted in when Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out with a stress fracture. The 31-year-old, despite being part of the squad in the West Indies, didn't feature in a single Test across the two-match series but returned with a match haul of six for 59 at the MCA Stadium. Yadav troubled the Proteas top-order by swinging the new ball at pace.

The Ranchi stadium hosted its lone Test in 2017 when the match between India and Australia ended in a draw. The pitch ensured full five days of cricket, with scores of 451 and 603 but only produced 25 wickets.

It wasn't a batting paradise though with the odd ball keeping low. Ravindra Jadeja was the best spinner across the two sides, getting the ball to grip and turn and India will hope for more of the same from the spin duo of Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.

India's batting looks well equipped as the top-order continues to rack up runs with reassuring familiarity, something the South African batsmen have aspired to but haven't been able to so far.

There's a case for captain Faf du Plessis batting up the order, like in Pune where he promoted himself to No. 4 in the second innings ahead of regular two-down Temba Bavuma.

Test vice-captain Bavuma, who has struggled for runs this series, looked like South Africa's best player of spin in the last outing, but after getting in and with the ball getting softer, he played a loose drive at Jadeja to gift his wicket away.

Opener Aiden Markram, who bagged a pair in Pune, has been ruled out of the third Test after sustaining an injury to his right wrist. No player has been called up as a replacement. No.3 Theunis de Bruyn, and Bavuma could make way for fresh faces with Zubayr Hamza and wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen — in line for a Test debut — likely to get a nod.

In the bowling department, the South African fast bowlers have been flat, lacking fire, intensity and purpose. The think tank could consider playing Lungi Ngidi here and give some much-needed rest to either Kagiso Rabada or Vernon Philander. There is also a possibility that left-arm spinner George Linde, an injury replacement for Keshav Maharaj, could feature in his maiden Test.

With the series now out of its hand, South Africa has nothing to lose. But in a string of defeats, sometimes one win is all it takes to revive fortunes. Like in 2018, when India ceded the three-match Test series 0-2 against South Africa in its backyard; a gutsy 63-run win in the final Test in Jo'burg set Team India on the path which culminated with a historic series victory Down Under.

How far a win in Ranchi will go in resuscitating South Africa's sagging spirits is anybody's guess but it will surely hold an evolving side in good stead in the days to come.

 

Where to watch?

You can watch the match on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD in English commentary and Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 3 HD in Hindi commentary. You can also watch the live streaming on Hotstar.