As it happened! India vs South Africa 2nd Test, Day 1
Team India scored 181 runs at the loss of just one wicket against South Africa by the end of Day 1. It's been an excellent start to the Boxing day Test for India. Right from the toss, pretty much everything went right for Dhoni's men. They got first use of a flat wicket. The openers saw off the threat of the new ball and thereafter Vijay and Pujara hardly put a foot wrong. For South Africa, the only respite came in the form of bad light in the last session. That has eaten into some valuable time in the game. Tomorrow promises to be another interesting day.
FINAL UPDATE: It has OFFICIALLY been confirmed now. The play on Day 1 has been CALLED OFF due to BAD LIGHT. Play will BEGIN at 9:30 AM(local) tomorrow to make up for the LOST TIME!!
BAD NEWS: We are getting information that it is only a MATTER OF TIME before play will be officially CALLED OFF for the day. Stay tuned for more UPDATES!!
BAD LIGHT: The play has been STOPPED due to bad light at the Kingsmead stadium. The umpires asked Smith if he was going to continue with his SEAMERS. The South African skipper answered in the AFFIRMATIVE and that was that. South Africa will be only too HAPPY to go out and have gone in very quickly. 9.3 is the READING on the light meter. It looks unlikely that the NATURAL LIGHT will improve any time soon. We'll just have to wait around. The umpires are HANGING AROUND in the ground.
55.3 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay walks down the wicket again and hoicks it over midwicket for a boundary.
55.1 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay shimmies down the track and whips it through midwicket for a boundary.
53.4 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay presents the full face of his bat and hammers it through cover for a boundary.
Tea: Another session that's belonged to the Indians. 87 runs were scored in the 27 overs that were bowled. They were going at a really good pace until it started to get overcast and the ball started to REVERSE. Both Vijay and Pujara showed a lot of APPLICATION, respected the good deliveries and weren't afraid at going after the bad deliveries. The partnership is now worth 122 runs and both look ever so COMFORTABLE at the crease. The umpires seemed to be very concerned with the LIGHTS and it remains to be seen whether we'd get a FULL SESSION after Tea or not.
With Cheteshwar Pujara(55) and Murali Vijay(76) at the crease, Team India are currently at 163/1 after 53 overs.
51.6 overs: FOUR!! Cheteshwar Pujara sends it through extra cover for a boundary and brings up his 4th TEST FIFTY. That's his 2nd FIFTY+ SCORE against South Africa!!
45.5 overs: FOUR!! Cheteshwar Pujara swivels across and flicks it through midwicket for a boundary. Pujara gets to 48 now!!
With Cheteshwar Pujara(44) and Murali Vijay(71) at the crease, Team India are currently at 147/1 after 44 overs.
42.3 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay flays the cut shot over the cover fielder for a boundary.
42.2 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay makes good use of the width and thumps it through covers for a boundary.
Drinks: It's been a GOOD 1st HOUR for India after lunch. The PARTNERSHIP between these two has raced away to 95. India would be HOPING for them to go on and SCORE BIG. With the likes of Kohli, Rohit, Rahane and Dhoni to come, things are looking BRIGHT. Got to give it to the South African bowlers though, they've run in HARD and asked questions time and again. They would be ITCHING for a wicket or two.
38.6 overs: FOUR!! Cheteshwar Pujara swivels across and gets it towards fine leg for a boundary.
36.5 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay frees his arms and sends it over the slip cordon for a boundary.
33.4 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay slashes hard to get it over backward point for a boundary and brings up his 4th TEST FIFTY. Vijay has done his HOMEWORK!!
With Cheteshwar Pujara(34) and Murali Vijay(49) at the crease, Team India are currently at 115/1 after 33 overs.
32.6 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay leans into the drive and sends it past point for a boundary. Vijay reaches to 49 now!!
30.6 overs: FOUR!! Cheteshwar Pujara reaches out for it and drives it through mid-on for a boundary.
29.5 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay goes on the backfoot and drills it through covers for another boundary. BACK-TO-BACK boundaries for Vijay!!
29.4 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay gets on the frontfoot and thumps it straight down the ground for a boundary. That was PURE TIMING from Vijay!!
28.4 overs: FOUR!! Cheteshwar Pujara goes back in the crease and caresses it through midwicket for a boundary.
26.2 overs: FOUR!! Cheteshwar Pujara goes on the backfoot and flicks it towards square leg for a boundary.
And, we're back. Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay are out in the middle for India while Dale Steyn will start the proceedings for South Africa after lunch.
LUNCH: Team India LOST one wicket in the first session of play on Day 1. The South African bowlers were barely THREATENING in the early spell. But, Morne Morkel kept the Indian batsmen on their toes and also picked up a CRUCIAL WICKET. Murali Vijay is looking good for India with Cheteshwar Pujara getting an EYE in. It has been a GOOD SESSION for India. There is NOTHING ALARMING in the pitch and South Africa could be in for a LONG DAY if the wicket continues to play as it has.
25.4 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay picks the length early and sends it through midwicket for a boundary. Vijay is looking SOLID for India!!
23.2 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay gets on the frontfoot and thumps it through cover for a boundary.
FOUR RUNS off the over!!
21.1 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay hangs back and clips it through midwicket for a boundary. EXQUISITE SHOT from Vijay!!
First sign of spin, Robin Peterson comes into the attack for South Africa.
20.5 overs: FOUR!! Cheteshwar Pujara shuffles across and flicks it towards square leg for a boundary.
Ever since the INTRODUCTION of Morne Morkel into the attack, India have scored 17/1 in 10 overs. The runs have DRIED UP to a trickle for India. EXCELLENT BOWLING from South Africa and a WICKET seems just around the corner!!
15.2 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay hangs back and flicks it through square leg for a boundary.
Jacques Kallis comes into the attack for South Africa.
With Cheteshwar Pujara(2) and Murali Vijay(11) at the crease, Team India are currently at 43/1 after 15 overs.
Cheteshwar Pujara comes to the crease for India.
13.1 overs: That's OUT!! Morne Morkel has got Shikhar Dhawan out caught at third slip. Dhawan pokes at the wide delivery and gets a thick edge through to Alviro Petersen at third slip. Shikhar Dhawan departs after scoring 29 runs off 49 balls with four boundaries. EARLY BLOW for India!!
9.3 overs: FOUR!! Shikhar Dhawan leans into the drive and sends it through cover for a boundary. That was BEAUTIFULLY TIMED from Dhawan!!
Morne Morkel comes into the attack for South Africa.
6.5 overs: FOUR!! Murali Viojay reaches out and thumps it through extra cover for a boundary.
6.1 overs: FOUR!! Shikhar Dhawan picks the length early and cracks it through cover for a boundary.
With Shikhar Dhawan(17) and Murali Vijay(6) at the crease, Team India are currently at 23/0 after five overs.
3.5 overs: FOUR!! Shikhar Dhawan waits for it and clips it square of the wicket for a boundary. POOR LINE from Philander there!!
2.4 overs: FOUR!! Murali Vijay gets on the frontfoot and caresses it through mid-off for a boundary.
FIVE RUNS off it!!
Vernon Philander will bowl from the other end for South Africa.
FIVE RUNS off the over!!
0.2 overs: FOUR!! Shikhar Dhawan leans forward and creams the drive past mid-off for the first boundary in the innings. CRACKING SHOT by Dhawan!!
Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay are out in the middle for India while Dale Steyn will open the attack for South Africa.
Team News: There is only ONE CHANGE for both the teams. India have brought Ravindra Jadeja while South Africa have included Robin Peterson in their squad. Both the teams are playing a LEFT-ARM SPINNER.
Toss: Team India have won the toss and elected to bat first against South Africa.
Pitch Report: "The pitch has not been watered too much because of the rain expeted. There is a good covering of grass but it is dry. There is not much moisture and the wicket itself is very hard. It will quicken as the match goes on. There are some cracks on the pitch. It could open up if the sun is out," says Shaun Pollock.
South Africa: Alviro Petersen, Graeme Smith(c), Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers(wk), Faf du Plessis, Jean-Paul Duminy, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni(c/wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami