India vs SA, 3rd Test Day 1: Records, key takeaways
Hosts India overcame their shaky start against visitors South Africa as opener Rohit Sharma, along with Ajinkya Rahane, steadied the ship in the third and final Test in Ranchi on Saturday. Both men put on a 185* run stand for the fourth wicket before the play was interrupted by bad light. Meanwhile, here are the records and takeaways from the opening day.
Earlier, Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first, as he made a change, bringing in spinner Shahbaz Nadeem for pacer Ishant Sharma. The hosts were off to a rusty start, losing three wickets with just 39 runs on the board. However, it was the pair of Rohit (117*) and Rahane (83*) who asserted dominance as India ended on 224/3.
Rohit continued his splendid run in the series as an opener, as he went on to score his third century of the three-match series. It was his sixth Test century, while he also surpassed 400 runs in this series. Besides, he has now scored 2,000 runs in his Test career, thus becoming the 40th Indian to do so.
Below are some of the records broken by Rohit following his century: He has the most number of sixes in a Test series (17*). He became the second Indian-opener to slam three tons in a series, after Sunil Gavaskar. He has now scored the most runs against Proteas, among Indian batsmen, in a series (434*).
Meanwhile, prior to the match, there was a weird moment as South African skipper Faf du Plessis brought out vice-captain Temba Bavuma during the toss as his proxy captain, to try his luck. However, it did not go their way as India won it again, while the side, along with Faf, scripted a couple of unfortunate records for losing the toss.
One of the notable observations, following the early collapse, was that Rahane chose to play a smart knock, even though he continued attacking the South African bowlers. It was a good strategy by him as he did not allow the Proteas bowlers to dominate post three quick breakthroughs. The strategy worked well as he, along with Rohit, put-up a fourth-wicket stand of 185* runs.
Surprisingly, Cheteshwar Pujara is not enjoying a good series. In four innings, he has managed to score 145 runs at an average of 36.25, with his best score being 81, including twin half-centuries. He also failed during the Windies tour, where he managed to score just 60 in four innings. Pujara would look to get back to form before India start their overseas tours.