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Cricket news - Live Cricket Score: India vs South Africa, 3rd Test, Day 1

Can India pull off a maiden whitewash on South Africa?

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Deepu's corner: Rohit now has 15 sixes in this series, tied with Shimron Hetmyer for the most sixes in a series

76 runs in the first hour

South Africa have bled runs this session. Rabada and Linde first, and then Nortje and Ngidi later. And why hasn't Dane Piedt bowled yet?! Rohit Sharma has looked imperious with his off-drives and backfoot punches. Rahane has been edgier but he's found a way through. South Africa need a contingency plan. The pitch is flatter, the ball older. This period with the old SG ball is starting to hurt them again. Which reminds me of Ganesh's preview for this game. He made that point very succinctly.

Deepu corner: Rohit Sharma's first 33 balls: 7 runs; Next 53 balls: 45 runs

Rohit gets to a fifty

He edged Rabada on 43 but there was no third slip.. Runs continue to flow and Rohit has his eighth fifth-plus score in his last nine innings in India. Also his 11th Test fifty. To put the post-lunch run-rate into perspective, Rabada has now conceded six boundaries in his two overs after lunch -- five of them to Rahane. Linde not doing enough to keep it tight from the other end. Could be a long session for South Africa.

Quick start to session #2

Not ideal for Rahane but he can boast of three boundaries in Rabada's first over after lunch. Two of them streaky but there was also a feel-good clip through mid-wicket. The pitch still seems to have something for the pacers but with the sun baking down, it shouldn't last for long. It will soon come down to: can South Africa's spinners strike on a dry pitch?

Lunch, Day 1

When Faf du Plessis, flanked by Temba Bavuma at his side, smiled sarcastically after losing his tenth straight toss in Asia, little did he know that it wasn't going to be just another session for them in the Indian subcontinent. With India 71 for 3 going into Lunch on Day 1, he was smiling for real at the end of that session. And if you think it was because Bavuma called the toss, or because South Africa made five changes to their side, you couldn't be more wrong. Full report here...

Rohit dropped on 28 off Linde

First over of spin in the session -- also Linde's first over on debut -- has created a chance. Bat-pad, FSL in play but Zubyr Hamza drops it. So that chance goes begging......

Kohli is gone too

Outswingers to gets Kohli shuffling across and then this fast full incoming delivery to pin him in front. It's been a good over from Nortje. He screams. And then some after Kohli's review returns umpire's call on hitting leg-stump, meaning the on-field decision stayed. You will scream too if you have Kohli as your first Test wicket.

Kohli even slams his knee with the bat on his way back to the pavilion. 39 for 3 !!

Drinks in Ranchi

It's been bit of an anticlimax for India fans, so to say. After India won the toss, they were supposed to boss on this dry-looking dark pitch but it's been all Rabada in this first hour. Swing, bounce, seam, aggression. Two wickets of Mayank and Pujara too. Kohli and Rohit have battled it out. India 29 for 2 after 13 overs.

DRS helps Rohit survive

Rabada, Rabada, Rabada! Scrambled seam this time, the ball slides on and hits Rohit on the pad. At least that's what the umpire thinks and gives him out. Slowmos show a huge inside edge, which is why Rohit reviewed straightaway. So India can relax in this minute. They have to get through this Rabada spell. As I type this, Rabada squares up Rohit with a short of a length ball. Fire. Rabada is bonafide fire in this moment.

Deepu corner: India's score at the fall of 2nd wicket. Vizag 324, Pune 163, Ranchi 16

Pujara goes for a duck!

Again, Rabada has been too good for Pujara who never looked certain at the crease. Was bowling the outswingers to him. Goes wide of the crease this time and brings the ball back in. And Pujara obliges. That's been his pain point. Rabada knows he's gotten Pujara. Smiles, signals the T to his captain and gets three reds in return. 16 for 2

Also also also, I can't help but mention how Rabada's first ball to Kohli was a fiery bouncer. Kohli ducks, smiles. Rabada doesn't. Oh Test cricket!

Rabada swings out Mayank early

Oh this was coming. Rabada's bowling has beggared belief on this pitch. He's extracted swing and bounce, and has used different seam positions to get the ball talking. Gets full this time, Mayank isn't quite on his front foot and edges the ball low to Elgar at third slip. Good catch. 12 for 1

Pitch showing signs

First of all, the pitch is dark and dry, with sinister patches that are darker. Rabada has gotten the new ball to swing and there's good bounce from his end. Looks nicely rolled. But the other, from where Ngidi is bowling, the ball's been keeping low... in the first 15 minutes of the Test. How long will this Test match last?

Deepu corner: Seventh Test appearance for Mayank and seventh time he's walking out to open on Day 1 of the Test!

Your pre-match reading, here

The toss is done and South Africa have made five changes. Ganesh Chadrasekaran saw this coming. "If the toss change-up leads you to think that South Africa are leaving their fortunes to fate, you'd be wrong. For Faf, clear as ever, has it worked out on what needs to be done to be better against India, in India," he writes.

Luke Alfred, meanwhile, turns the spotlight to South Africa's problems off the field. There's SACA, there's MSL, there's their President's extended term and more. Read all about it here.

India win the toss uh-gain

Temba Bavuma was South Africa's toss-man but even that didn't help! "It's not meant to be," Faf says at the toss, part disappointed and part stunned at the ways of the universe. He even calls it the driest pitch of the series. We will see. Black soil, slow turn and bounce... is the spin really going to trouble South Africa? Looks a yes at the moment. This pitch looks like a dry river bed......

Team changes: India rest Ishant Sharma and bring in Shahbaz Nadeem in his place. South Africa have moved Quinton de Kock to the top of the order and are playing five bowlers. Markram (wrist injury) and Maharaj (shoulder) are obviously forced changes. Philander, Muthusamy and de Bruyn have been left out. Zubayr Hamza, Lundi Ngidi, Dane Piedt find a way back in whereas Linde and Klaasen make their debuts.

South Africa (Playing XI): Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis(c), Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen(w), George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi

India (Playing XI): Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

Deepu corner: The only other Test QdK played as non-WK was his debut game - vs Aus in Port Elizabeth in 2013/14

Shahbaz Nadeem makes his Test debut

Oh what a day for Nadeem! He's been there and thereabouts on the Test radar, and finally gets his time under the sun. Don't forget that he was added to the squad only yesterday, coming in because Kuldeep Yadav complained of shoulder pain.

So who's Shahbaz Nadeem? He made his first-class debut way back in 2004 for Jharkhand versus Kerala, and has picked up 424 scalps at an average of just over 28 in first-class cricket so far. He was the highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, ending with 51 and 56 wickets respectively.

In the last season, he was again among the wickets in first-class cricket, taking 37 scalps. The slow left-arm orthodox bowler was also in fine form (15 wickets) during India A's tour of West Indies this year. Nadeem is also a useful batsman lower down the order, having scored seven fifties and one century in first-class games.


You don't judge on first appearances. Ranchi had its pitch pictures go viral on the social media in 2017. It was a quarry for online sarcasm. Steven Smith even called it "mud rolled together". The world thought India's produced another designer pitch at home, only for the Test match to go right into the last session, ending in a draw. Sometimes you don't judge, you just play -- which is what India will be doing against South Africa, hoping to come up against the fierce team they've known them as. Hello and welcome to the third and final Test between the teams in Ranchi!

Have you checked out the match preview by Ganesh Chandrasekaran? He highlights how South Africa need to make the most of the old SG ball. And for that, they have to fare better at the top of the order.

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