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India vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 1 at Visakhapatnam, Highlights: As it Happened

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15:36 (IST)

Right, so play has been called off due to the heavy rain. The whole ground is covered and the rain hasn't stopped either. Play has been abandoned for today, and we'll see you back tomorrow morning for Day 2.

15:09 (IST)

This is not looking good at the moment. It's still pouring in Vizag here. Looks like there will be no further play possible today. But stay tuned for further updates. 

14:34 (IST)
This does not look good!
14:24 (IST)

The umpires called tea in good time it would seem as the situation has changed very fast with very very dark clouds and the groundstaff being forced to cover the full playing area with the big covers. 

14:08 (IST)

TEA: So players take tea as the second session comes to an end. Indian openers have had a wonderful day with Rohit Sharma slamming a ton and Mayank Agarwal batting on 84. South Africans have been ordinary with the ball and don't have any wicket to show for their efforts. 

14:02 (IST)

200 partnership comes up between this pair. And they are looking good for many more together. Now the focus shifts to Mayank, who too is approaching a ton. India are 202/0. 

13:55 (IST)

Rohit is going great guns here. He pulls Maharj for another six. India are clearly in the driver's seat while the Proteas are still searching for the first wicket. If they don't get it in this session, it's going to be a real worry for them. India are 190/0. 

13:44 (IST)

100 FOR ROHIT: Rohit's first innings as a Test opener has resulted in a ton. What an innings this has been from the Indian batsman. He cuts the ball fine to take a single, and bring up his ton. India are 178/0. 

13:39 (IST)

A short one from Maharaj and Rohit cuts the ball fine for a four. He races away to 97. This has been a little gem from the Hitman. India are in an excellent poistion at 169/0. 

13:29 (IST)

Rohit has decided to take on Piedt. He dances down the track and hit him for two back-to-back sixes. Excellent batting by the Indian opener here. He is nearing his ton here, Rohit. India are 163/0. 

13:22 (IST)

150: Mayank dances down the track and hits down the track to Piedt. He gets another four. India are cruising and he follows it up with another four. This is a good over for the Indians. And the 150 comes up for India. It's 150/0.

13:09 (IST)

After a long time Piedt comes into the attack. India are cruising at 137/0 and the South Africans need a wicket here desperately. On the other hand Rohit is nearing his well-deserved ton. 

12:57 (IST)

Rohit and Mayank are both taking it slow. They are hitting boundaries at regular intervals which is making it difficult for the opposition. The key for them will be to go with spinners at both ends. India are now 127/0. 

12:46 (IST)

Both the Indian openers are going well at the moment. They have stiched a partnership of over 100. And they are looking good for a lot more. The pitch hasn't assisted the Protean bowlers. India are 122/0. 

12:37 (IST)

FIFTY FOR AGARWAL: Agarwal goes inside-out over the covers and hits a big six. Maharaj can't believe his eyes as Agarwal brings up his fifty. This is excellent by the Indian opener. He needs to continue from here on. India are 110/0. 

12:27 (IST)

Two maidens on the trot for the Proteas. They are tightening the screws on the Indians at the moment. India are now stuck on 99/0 for at least a couple of overs now.

12:14 (IST)

FOUR: Keshav Maharaj starts the first over after lunch and on the second ball Rohit leans into a drive to get a four. This is good start by the Indian after the break. India are 96/0. 

12:11 (IST)

And the Indian batsmen make  their way to the middle once again. They have a huge task of continuing the good work they did in the first session.

11:59 (IST)

We are just minutes away from the start of the second session at Vizag. India had a wonderful first session here with Rohit Sharma getting to a fifty. Can he continue and get a ton, remains to be seen. 

11:49 (IST)
Impressive start by India
11:31 (IST)

And that's lunch. A highly productive first session for India, as they come out of it unscathed, and with Rohit Sharma having earned his first Test fifty as an opener. It's been tough going for the bowlers, who have toiled hard. The lunch break comes at a good time, as they can go back into the pavilion, re-align themselves and come out fresh. India are 91/0 at lunch on Day 1.

11:29 (IST)

FOUR! And with that, Rohit Sharma has brought up his fifty on his first start as a Test opener. Not bad, we'd say. Muthusamy had actually looped the ball up well, but despite the shot being a little lofted, it was worth the risk in the end. At the end of 29 overs, India are 91/0.

11:20 (IST)

FOUR! Welcome to Test cricket, Senuran Muthusamy. He is cut away by Rohit for a boundary, and that ball didn't even looked like a bad one. Such are the fine margins at the international Test level! At the end of 27 overs, the score reads 84/0.

11:12 (IST)

SIX! Rohit Sharma hits Piedt for another towering six! The Indian batsmen have been using their feet to good effect in the last few overs, picking up the six off one of the spinners early in the over so they can navigate the rest of the over with minimal ease, without the pressure of adding runs to the board. At the end of 25 overs, the score reads 79/0.

11:06 (IST)

SIX! It's now Agarwal's turn to join the party, as he smashes Piedt over long-on for a six, despite their being a long-on fielder lurking around. Modern day cricket that, for you. He is looking like a batsman who is completely sure of what he is doing, and believes in his ability. At the end of 23 overs, the score reads 68/0.

10:54 (IST)

SIX! Rohit Sharma frees his arms against Keshav Maharaj! He danes down the pitch and sends the ball over long-on for a maximum . A sweet connection. And he takes a single off the next ball. Sensible cricket being played.

10:51 (IST)

FOUR! Agarwal dispatches another ball to the boundary, and South Africa are being made to toil hard under the sun here. Dane Piedt has been brought into the attack, as Muthusamy still waits for his bow in front of the Visakhapatnam crowd. At the end of 18 overs, the score reads 46/0.

10:43 (IST)

At the end of 16 overs, it's 40/0. Mayank Agarwal has so far been the more aggressive of the two batsmen, while Rohit Sharma has done a good job of picking out the bad balls and dispatching them to the boundary. Keshav Maharaj has not been getting the turn he would like, but the pitch is expected to open up more as the sessions go on.

10:29 (IST)

The Indian openers have settled in really well here, and look like they're both poised for a long innings. The ball has started to slow down off the surface, and the boundaries are coming with more regularity than before. South Africa need to find some inspiration, or this could turn out to be a long day in the field for them. Fourteen overs have gone, and it's 35/0.

10:15 (IST)

Ten overs have gone by in the first session, and spinner Keshav Maharaj has already been brought into the attack, giving an indication of how quickly the surface is changing, with wear and tear on the ball. At the end of 10 overs, the score reads 22/0.

India vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 1 at Visakhapatnam, Highlights: As it Happened

Follow all the live cricket score and latest updates from the first Test between India and South Africa:This is not looking good at the moment. It’s still pouring in Vizag here. Looks like there will be no further play possible today. But stay tuned for further updates.

India vs West Indies 1st Test on October 1st (Tuesday) will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network and live streaming will be available on Hotstar. The match will be played at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam and will begin at 0930 HRS IST. You can also follow all the action on our live blog (IND vs SA).

South Africa couldn’t have asked for a tougher start to their ICC World Test Championship debut. Playing the No. 1 ranked India in India, especially with a team in transition, it doesn’t get tougher than this. The trial by fire starts in Visakhapatnam on October 2.

While South Africa begin life without Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla, India have such a strong side that they are experimenting with a key position. Rohit Sharma is set to get a go as Test opener, in a move India hopes will pay off in the long run.

India’s captain Virat Kohli said they are ready to give him time to figure out his approach – does he play the ‘normal way’, or try and become another Virender Sehwag?

The big news of the day from the Indian camp though, is Rishabh Pant being dropped for Wriddhiman Saha. The Bengal keeper is the senior and did everything right before being injured last year, but Pant did no wrong filling in either.

No Indian keeper has Test centuries in Australia and England, and Pant will feel robbed off the chance to have a go at home. India are backing Saha now given he’s the superior keeper, which is of huge importance at home too.

But such big calls, and announcing their XI a day earlier, show the confidence India have in their team. Their batting is long; they’re set to bat till No. 9 with Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin both in the side.

They’ve got four bowlers, who have more often than not done the job in India. The bulk of the work, of course, will be done by the spinners.

It was an easy call to get Ashwin back in the side at home. He’s lost his position as primary spinner overseas, but the story is different in these conditions.

He’ll have added motivation to do well too – a good series will help even though conditions home and abroad are different. Jadeja, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami will just look to continue their good work from the previous series against West Indies.

India’s batting is solid even without the length. Cheteshwar Pujara had a poor series in West Indies but that’s usually a one-off. Kohli is, well, Kohli. Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari’s runs in the middle order was a big factor in West Indies, and they’ll be hoping for more of the same.

South Africa will be trying to identify their best XI suited for these conditions. The job for them is simple – if they bat well, they can test India.

That’s because they’ve got good bowlers too; the big names are Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi. But in India, the bigger job is on left-arm pacer Keshav Maharaj and one among off-spinner Dane Piedt and left-arm spinner Senuran Muthuswamy.

Maharaj has impressed in his short Test career, playing bulk of his cricket in tough conditions for spinners. Now is his chance to have some fun. Piedt played one Test in South Africa’s last tour to India (2015) and has some experience. He can also add some runs in the lower order.

But given India have only one left-hand batsman in their XI – Jadeja – don’t be surprised if South Africa play two left-arm spinners by including Muthusamy too.

The batting will be the stiffer challenge. They’ll take confidence from Aiden Markram’s form at the top; the opener has two centuries in his last three innings in India this tour.

Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis are experienced and have the ability to grind it out, while Temba Bavuma too is not short of confidence after a couple of good knocks in the T20Is and the game against Board President’s XI.

Facing Ashwin and Jadeja, and the constant heat from Shami and Ishant, won’t be an easy task though.

But more important than all this is the weather. Rain is expected on all five days of the Test; it’s that time of the year in Vizag! The venue has hosted only one Test so far – against England in 2016 – and the fans there will be praying for an interruption free second Test.

India XI: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja