Rohit Sharma blasted his sixth century and Ajinkya Rahane neared his ton but bad light halted play in Ranchi. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
India won the toss and chose to bat in the Ranchi Test against South Africa but the Proteas bowlers struck early in the first hour. Kagiso Rabada got the big wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara while Anrich Nortje got the big wicket of Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli. However, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane turned the tables on the South Africans with their aggressive and confident strokeplay. Rohit blasted his sixth century and he got there with a six while Ajinkya Rahane smashed his 21st fifty and he is nearing a century. India are firmly on top and South Africa will have to take quick wickets if they are to restrict India to under 400.
15:56 hrs IST: That is stumps on day 1 due to rain and bad light. Play could start early in order to make up for the lost time.
15:37 hrs IST: Still no signs of play. It is really dark and murky at the moment. India are 224/3 but signs of any play happening today looks bleak.
15:19 hrs IST: Bad light has halted play in Ranchi and there are some covers coming on. Umbrellas are up and it is raining. That might be it for the day's play. India are 224/3.
14:16 hrs IST: That is tea on day 1 and India hold the advantage now, thanks to Rohit Sharma's ton and Ajinkya Rahane's attacking fifty. India are 205/3.
14:00 hrs IST: Rahane also slams a six off Piedt as India motor along in the second session. India are 200/3 and suddenly, the early advantage that South Africa created has evaporated.
13:46 hrs IST: CENTURY! What a knock from Rohit! Gets there with a six off Piedt and that is his sixth century and third in this series. The groundstaff are waiting at the boundary as they feel that rain could be coming soon. India are 184/3.
13:30 hrs IST: 21st fifty for Ajinkya Rahane and he is looking in great touch. Rohit is nearing his century and the partnership has crossed 100.
12:40 hrs IST: FIFTY! Brilliant stuff from Rohit Sharma and he notches up his 11th fifty. This has been a wonderful series for the Hitman. India are 115/3.
12:36 hrs IST: Rahane is really getting the better of Kagiso Rabada by glancing a boundary to fine leg and a flick to deep square leg. India are turning the tables on South Africa and they are 111/3.
12:18 hrs IST: India have started brilliantly after the lunch break with Ajinkya Rahane slamming three boundaries in one over bowled by Kagiso Rabada. India are 89/3.
11:34 hrs IST: Rohit Sharma blasts a six and India have moved to 71/3 at lunch.
11:19 hrs IST: Rohit Sharma is looking in fine touch as he pulls Lungi Ngidi to the deep midwicket fence. Rahane, on the other hand, is struggling a bit. India are 60/3.
10:53 hrs IST: WICKET! Brilliant stuff from Anrich Nortje. He had set up Kohli brilliantly. He beats the Indian skipper with an away swinger outside off and then slants one in and that nips back in sharply and Kohli is trapped LBW. Kohli opts for the review but replays show it to be clipping leg stump. India are 43/3.
10:48 hrs IST: Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are growing in confidence and India are making solid progress. India are 39/2.
10:29 hrs IST: After surviving some testing bowling, Virat Kohli breaks the shackles with two boundaries off Anrich Nortje and India have reached 25/2.
10:22 hrs IST: It is all happening in Ranchi. Rohit Sharma is adjudged LBW by umpire Richard Illingworth but he reviews. Replays show an inside edge and he will survive. South Africa have their tail up and one feels that if they can get both Rohit and Kohli cheaply, they can bowl India out cheaply. India 17/2.
10:13 hrs IST: WICKET! Superb ball from Rabada. How fortunes can change for Cheteshwar Pujara at the same venue. 202 in 2017 against Australia now a nine-ball duck. Full ball from Rabada and it nips back in, Pujara plays outside the line of the delivery and gets hit on the back leg, South Africa appeal but the umpire does not give it. They immediately review and replays show there is no bat and it is hitting middle stump. India are 16/2.
09:54 hrs IST: WICKET! That is just reward for some outstanding bowling and fittingly, it is Kagiso Rabada who strikes. Full ball and it swings away in the corridor outside off, Agarwal pokes at it and the edge goes low to third slip where Dean Elgar takes the catch. India 12/1.
09:44 hrs IST: Kagiso Rabada is generating some swing and is troubling the batsmen. Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma will be looking to survive this testing period. India 7/0.
09:34 hrs IST: There are five changes in the South Africa side. This is huge. Basically a total revamp.
South Africa (Playing XI): Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis(c), Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen(w), George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi
India (Playing XI): Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami
09:08 hrs IST: India have chosen to bat in the Ranchi Test against South Africa. Ishant Sharma is out for India. George Linde makes his debut for South Africa. Quinton de Kock will open the batting and Heinrich Klassen will be the keeper. Lungi Ngidi is also in the side.
08:57 hrs IST: So, Shahbaz Nadeem will make his debut today for the Indian cricket team. The pitch will assist the spinners as there are cracks and the pitch will crumble after the first two days. So, Shahbaz has gotten the ideal situation. Bat first and set up a good score.
08:39 hrs IST: There has been plenty of concern regarding the attendances at the JSCA stadium. Only 1,500 tickets have been sold. The cricket association are planning to arrest the slide by inviting MS Dhoni to attend the match on the opening day.
08:32 hrs IST: A warm welcome to the first day of the third and final Test between India and South Africa from the JSCA stadium in Ranchi. Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team have already won the series and they will be aiming for a whitewash. With precious points at stake in the ICC World Test Championships, Kohli and team might not want to relent.