3rd Test: India hit back courtesy Rohit-Rahane after early setback on Day 1
For the third and the final Test of the three-match series between India and South Africa, both the teams reached Ranchi to witness the culmination of what has been a disappointing series for the visitors. After going 2-0 down in the first two Tests, South Africa were playing for the pride in the final Test.
However, things didn't start well for the Proteas as once again they lost the toss and were asked to bowl first at the Indians. India made a solitary change in their playing XI from the Pune Test, by handing Shahbaz Nadeem his debut cap at his home ground.
On the other hand, visitors made as many as five changes from their last outing in the series. Lungi Ngidi, Heinrich Klaasen, Zubayr Hamza and George Linde, the debutant, were making their maiden appearance in the Test series.
To everybody's surprise, South Africa made a impressive start to the day by bagging the first session. Their bowling attack managed to inflict early damage by picking three crucial wickets in the morning session.
India were dented early as centurion from the last match, Mayank Agarwal was caught at slip for 10, while India's rock solid No.3, Cheteshwar Pujara, was trapped plumb in front of the wicket for a duck. However, Rohit stood his ground and managed his way out of the first spell of the day.
SA bowlers also managed to get the big fish, Virat Kohli for a paltry score of 12 runs. Anrich Nortje was responsible for the demise of Kohli as he got his maiden Test wicket in his second Test for the Proteas.
Despite early setbacks in the day, India were back on track after Ajinkya Rahane joined Sharma to bail the team out of trouble. The visitors made to toil hard for wickets as the the Mumbaikar duo of Sharma and Rahane remained unbeaten at the end of day's play. The bowlers failed to make any further inroads after picking three early wickets.
In due course, Rohit reached sixth hundred in his career, also third in this series. He was unbeaten on 117 along with Rahane, who was just 17 short of his yet another century in Test cricket.
The day's play was cut short after bad light and persistent rain saw only 58 overs of play possible on Day 1. India finished with 224 for 3. The hosts would want to pile on the misery for the visitors and dominate the match in the upcoming days.