Centurion – India’s opening batsmen KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal gave their side a solid start on the first day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday.
India were 83 for no wicket at lunch, justifying captain Virat Kohli’s decision to bat first on a green-tinged pitch after winning the toss.
Rahul (29 not out) and Agarwal (46 not out) both showed good judgement in deciding which balls to play against steady but largely unthreatening bowling.
New cap Marco Jansen created the only chance of the morning, having Agarwal dropped by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock with his score on 36 and the total 52.
Jansen, 21, a tall left-arm fast bowler, was selected ahead of Duanne Olivier, the form bowler of the South African first-class season.
Olivier took 28 wickets in four first-class matches.
Agarwal hit Jansen for three boundaries in his first over when the debutant came into the attack in the tenth over of the day.
However, Jansen bowled some good deliveries and beat Rahul outside the off stump in the over after Agarwal was dropped.
The new ball was shared by Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, neither of whom had played any first-class cricket since South Africa’s Test series in the West Indies in June.
The South Africa team wore black armbands in honour of anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu, described as the country’s moral compass, who died on Sunday aged 90.
Both teams also held a minute’s silence.
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