India wins toss, elects to bat against South Africa

File image of Virat Kohli

File image of Virat Kohli

The 28-year-old Agarwal put on a record 317-run opening stand with opening partner Rohit Sharma to set the tone for India's dominance.

Swashbuckling Indian batsman Rohit Sharma grabbed the opportunity to open the innings with both hands as he struck a blistering hundred on the rain-hit opening day of the first Test against South Africa at the ACA-VDCA Stadium on Wednesday.

Agarwal made 215 out of India's 502 for seven declared in Visakhapatnam.

As he now looks to make the transition to a Test opener, Rohit could not have hoped for a more benign pitch to begin on, with South Africa's attack failing to make a single breakthrough in 59.1 overs. Ashwin also removed the reverse-sweeping Theunis de Bruyn, whose shot selection will be heavily questioned. Nightwatchman Dane Piedt was bowled middle stump by Ravindra without scoring.

Agarwal eventually fell to part-time spinner Elgar before leaving to handshakes from South African players.

Playing in just his fifth Test, the right-handed Agarwal has smashed six sixes and 22 fours in 361 balls faced so far.

Philander, who got Sharma out for a two-ball duck in a practice game last week, tested the senior batsman early on in the innings by swinging the ball both ways.

India then suffered two quick blows. "The dressing room acknowledges", Indian Cricket Team captioned a video on Instagram, in which skipper Virat Kohli can be seen giving Rohit Sharma a pat on the back. Debutant spinner Senuran Muthusamy had Kohli caught and bowled as his maiden Test wicket.

The ball got stuck in between the boundary rope advertisements but the fast bowler Vernon Philander was searching the ball under the covers that were kept beside the ropes as a precautionary measure to protect the 22 yards from sudden rain.

Jadeja, who made 30 not out, and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, who hit 21, gave useful support in building up the huge total.

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