Two half-centuries were scored by KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal on the first day.
Centurion Test openers India shared a 117-run partnership on the first day of play
This series’ vice-captain is KL Rahul.
Lungi Ngidi took wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession, but Kuldeep Yadav and Virat Kohli kept India in contention with a composed batting display to reach tea on 157/2.
KL On the first day of the first Test against South Africa in Centurion, Rahul played a key role in India’s strong start. After Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first, the opener and Mayank Agarwal shared a 117-run opening partnership to put the visitors in a commanding position at the end of the first two sessions. In order to counter the threat posed by South African pacers such as Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, Rahul exhibited great discipline and technique.
In contrast to Mayank, who got things going right away after both he and Rahul showed respect to the new ball and the bowlers for the first few batters, Rahul took his time. He, however, was quick to punish loose pitches and pitches that were thrown right in front of the hitter’s ear.
The wickets of Mayank and Cheteshwar Pujara fell in quick succession, but Rahul held his end up and reached his half-century and then batted with great composure alongside captain Virat Kohli to bring India to tea at 157/2, with his personal score on 68.
This is a promising start for a hitter who struggled during his previous trip to South Africa. This year, Rahul scored 30 runs in four innings with a dismal average of 7.5 and a best of 16.
Rahul, as vice-captain on the Test trip, rose to the occasion to play a vital inning for the team in the absence of Rohit Sharma, who was injured.
On host broadcaster Star Sports during the tea break, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar lavished praise on Rahul, who has worked closely with him in the past.
Incredibly skilled batting, he has poured his entire being into it. His innings have been marked by his ability to go behind the ball and to play with gentle hands, all while allowing the ball to come to him.
It’s all about staying on top of the bounce, spotting the ideal openings, and timing the ball well. He is doing all the things that you want a batsman to do perfectly and it is because of his efforts and patience and the partnership that he had with Mayank Agarwal, that India is sitting pretty right now,” Bangar said when questioned about Rahul’s innings.
As a first-time visitor to South Africa, India hopes to win the Test series. Except for the 2010 series, which ended in a 1-1 tie, they’ve lost all of their previous meetings.