Johannesburg Test, Day 1: India lose three wickets before lunch
India are off to a patchy start in the second Test against South Africa at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. They lost opener Mayank Agarwal in the first session on Day 1. However, KL Rahul, who is leading Team India in place of injured Virat Kohli, looked set. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane too departed toward the session's end. Here is the session report.
India started well after electing to bat. While skipper Rahul remained vigilant, Agarwal was all guns blazing in the first hour. He raced to 26 runs in just 37 balls with the help of 5 fours. However, Marco Jansen outfoxed him right after drinks. Thereafter, Duanne Olivier dismissed Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in quick succession. India finished on 53/3 at lunch.
Rahul and Pujara kept India afloat after Agarwal departed. However, Olivier, who replaced Wiaan Mulder in the Test, got rid of Pujara. On the very next ball, the South African seamer removed Rahane. Notably, Rahane was Olivier's 50th Test scalp. The latter was the pick of SA's bowlers in the first session. Left-arm pacer Marco Jansen had earlier dismissed Agarwal.
India's regular captain Virat Kohli is missing the Johannesburg Test. Stand-in captain Rahul, at the toss, revealed that the former has an upper back spasm. Middle-order batter Hanuma Vihari replaced Kohli in the batting order. The team management preferred Vihari as Shreyas Iyer had a stomach bug. Meanwhile, premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah is Team India's vice-captain for the match.
As per Cricbuzz, Rahul is the first Indian since Mohammad Azharuddin (in 1990) to lead Team India in Tests before taking over in limited-overs cricket (internationals). Rahul was recently appointed captain for India's upcoming ODI series in South Africa.