SA vs IND: KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal gave India a good start.© AFP
India resumed their bid to win a Test series in South Africa with the start of the first Test against the Proteas at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday. While Ajinkya Rahane was retained in the playing XI ahead of Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari, Shardul Thakur also got a nod in the team. With India missing Rohit Sharma, who is out of the Test series due to a hamstring injury, all eyes were on Indian openers Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul as to whether the Karnataka duo would deliver at the top of the order in the absence of India’s newly-appointed Test vice-captain.
After India won the toss and elected to bat in Centurion, Mayank and Rahul added 83 runs in the first session on Day 1 as South African bowlers failed to trouble them much.
Talking about India’s performance in the first session, former India pacer Ajit Agarkar said that it was as good as a start that the Virat Kohli-led side could have hoped for.
“Rohit Sharma missing out on the Test series was a big blow. The start was always going to be critical and India have got a fantastic start. That was as good as a start that they (India) could have hoped for,” Ajit Agarkar said on Star Sports during the lunch show on Day 1.
Mayank took on the role of the aggressor, scoring 46 runs in the first session, including seven boundaries. He, however, was dropped on 36 by Quinton de Kock off debutant Marco Jansen’s delivery.
India lost two wickets early in the second session though, with Lungi Ngidi removing Mayank and Cheteshwar Pujara.
The ongoing tour is head coach Rahul Dravid’s first overseas assignment after having taken over from Ravi Shastri last month.
India are in South Africa to play three Tests, followed by as many ODIs.
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