India in solid start as South Africa toil

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal negotiated a toothless South African seam attack to steer India to 0-83 in overcast conditions at lunch on the opening day of the first Test at Centurion Park.

After India elected to bat, Agarwal (46) was the more aggressive of the two but was ably supported by Rahul (29) as they took advantage of a slow pitch that is expected to quicken up as the game goes on.

South Africa, playing their first Test since June, could not build pressure as they bowled both sides of the wicket and did not make the batsmen play enough.

Fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi had not bowled a single delivery in red-ball cricket since their series win in the West Indies and they struggled to find the right line.

The home side toiled for 75 minutes before creating an opportunity, but it was spilled by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Debutant left-arm seamer Marco Jansen found the edge of Agarwal's bat but De Kock, who moved late to his right, dropped what should have been a regulation take.

It denied the 21-year-old his first Test scalp and was a deflating moment for the struggling hosts.

Jansen was preferred to Duanne Olivier after the latter had been expected to play his first Test since 2019 following a spell in English cricket.

Jansen's performances in the recent tour by India A appeared to get him the surprise nod.

He went for 12 in his first over and was wayward at times, but also beat the bat on a number of occasions and looked the most likely bowler to make a breakthrough.

India selected batsman Ajinkya Rahane in the middle order ahead of Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari, and a seam attack of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and all-rounder Shardul Thakur.

The touring side are hoping to secure a first Test series win in South Africa with matches to follow in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting