The Indian cricket team batters faced a tough challenge from South African pacers on Day 1 of the first Test in Centurion on Tuesday. Kagiso Rabada struck with a five-wicket haul as top batters like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma could not deliver a big innings. With overcast conditions in Centurion, the South African pacers got bounce as well as lateral movement. South Africa is a place where India have never won any Test series, and the opening day of the current contest was not good for  them either.

Shardul Thakur, India’s no.8 batter, looked to be in good touch before he was hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Gerald Coetzee in the 44th over. During the mandatory concussion protocol, Thakur’s forehead showed swelling. Though Shardul resumed batting, he was again hit on the hand on a Kagiso Rabada delivery in the 47th over. On the next ball, Shardul fell on the score of 24 off 33 balls.

Meanwhile, South Africa captain Temba Bavuma’s participation in the on-going first Test against India was thrown into jeopardy after he limped off the field with a left hamstring strain here on Tuesday. Bavuma went out of the field in the 20th over after chasing a drive from Virat Kohli off left-arm pacer Marco Jansen.

“Scans have revealed a left hamstring strain. He (Bavuma) will undergo daily medical evaluations to determine his participation in the match,” said an update from Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Bavuma hobbled midway through that chase via extra cover region and soon walked off the ground with the help of the South African physio.

Dean Elgar, who is retiring after this series, stood-in as captain in the absence of Bavuma.

Wiaan Mulder replaced Bavuma on the field.

At the end of the lunch, India posted a total of 91/3, with Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer unbeaten, having a partnership of 67 runs.

After winning the toss, the hosts sent India to bat first. However, the Proteas won’t regret their decision, as they successfully dominated the first session in Centurion.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (17 runs from 37 balls) and Rohit Sharma (5 runs from 14) opened for the visitors but both of them failed to make a mark and collapsed in front of the Proteas pacers.

One of the main disappointments in the first session was Shubman Gill’s (2 runs from 12 balls) sloppy performance. After early upsets, the visitors rely on Kohli (33 runs from 47 balls) and Iyer (31 runs from 46 balls) to make a solid partnership and sit in the driver’s seat after the end of day one.

With PTI and ANI inputs

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