IND vs SA, 1st Test Day 1: Rahul’s masterclass and Rahane’s resistance puts India on top

IND vs SA, Boxing day test, India won the toss and opted to bat first. Batting first at centurion with greenish pitch and overcast condition with weak middle order was a bold decision.

India’s playing XI – Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

South Africa’s playing XI – Dean Elgar (c), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Wiaan Mulder, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi

Everyone thought it was a bad decision to bat first on this wicket but Rahul and Mayank have proved them wrong. Both of them started carefully and saw off the first spell of Rabada and Ngidi. Mayank started to pick up the pace and smashed 3 boundaries in the first over of debutant Marco Jansen. South African pacers lacked the line, they took the ball away from the batter, they rarely targeted the stumps in the first session.

Later Marco Jansen bowled a good second spell and he got the edge of Mayank Agarwal but Quinton de Kock dropped it. Apart from the drop catch of Mayank, India dominated the first session with the masterclass of KL Rahul and Mayank. At the time of lunch India were 83-0.

Post Lunch Session

Mayank and KL carried the inning with the same note after the lunch and raised a 100 run opening partnership. India was looking dominant before Ngidi strikes and got 2 wickets in 2 balls. He dismissed Mayank (60) and Pujara (0) first ball. Mayank’s wicket surprised everyone as the ball tracker showed the ball was hitting the leg stump but in real-time it looked like the ball was just clipping the bails.

Wasim Jaffer’s reaction on twitter after the ball tracker hits the leg stump.

With two back-to-back wickets with India’s weak middle order, South Africa fancied their chance to make a come back in the test. But Virat Kohli and KL Rahul survived the fiery spell of Ngidi and ensured no damage was done before the tea. At the time of tea, India were 157-2.

Post Tea Session

Virat Kohli and KL Rahul carried India’s inning post-tea. But a nothing delivery from Ngidi took the wicket of well-set Skipper Virat Kohli (35). After the dismissal of skipper, Ajinkya Rahane who is definitely playing for his spot found some form back and played some high-quality shots.

KL Rahul did the hard work and got rewarded with a century, his sixth overseas century. Rahul’s unbeaten 122 along with Ajinkya’s unbeaten 40 ensured no damage was done before the stumps on day 1. South Africa definitely has to defend itself and it’s just day 1 in their backyard. At the time of stumps, India were 272-3.

Watch day 1 highlights here

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