The Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team had a tough day in office as it lost eight wickets on way to reach 208 at stumps on the first day of the first day of the first Test against South Africa. India have never won a Test series in the ‘Rainbow Nation’ and since the current series is only a two-match affair, the margin of error is also less. On Tuesday, in a rain-curtailed Day of the 1st Test, after the top-order failed, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer stitched a good stand. However, it was KL Rahul’s unbeaten 70 off 105 balls that was crucial in India going past 200-run mark.

Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar sounded optimistic however. “India have great chance. This is a very difficult pitch to bat,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

He earlier said that India will walk into 2024 with a win under their belt.  “I think they will because I think South Africa are not quite the same. Also, the South African batters aren’t quite in form and that gives India a terrific opportunity to win this game,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

“Indian batters, on the other hand, have been in prime form in all the matches. As you’ve seen, they have got experience on their side with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma playing here many times before. So, clearly, I think India will celebrate the New Year with a win.”

Rain played spoilsport as the majority of the third session was ruled out on Day 1 of the first Test between India and South Africa on Tuesday at the SuperSport Park.

At the end of Day 1, India posted a total of 208/8 in 59 overs with KL Rahul and Mohammed Siraj unbeaten with respective scores of 70(105)* and 0(10)*.

KL Rahul fought valiantly throughout the time that he spent on the field. While the rest of the batters failed to overcome Kagiso Rabada, he fought with vigour to take India’s score past the 200-run mark. Siraj also showed patience during the 10 balls that he faced he faced.

The only casualty in the final session was Jasprit Bumrah, who lost his patience and ended up losing his wicket to Marco Jansen after playing 19 balls.

Four wickets fell in the second session and all of them belonged to Rabada. His pace left India’s batters without any answers as the pacer thrived on a surface that provided extra bounce.

He shifted the tides in the favour of the Proteas by dismissing set batter Shreyas Iyer for 31 after lunch.

Three overs later he dismissed Virat Kohli for 38 with a lovely outswinging delivery. Ravichandran Ashwin lost his wicket with a fierce yet accurate bouncer.

He struck Shardul Thakur on his arm and on the next ball removed him from the crease for a score of 24.

KL Rahul on the other hand, showed aggression in his shots but kept his temperament as well. Before the session was called off, he got struck below his chin and received on-field treatment for it as well.

With ANI inputs

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