India vs South Africa: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane join forces to enter record books in Ranchi
Ind vs Sa: With India struggling at 39/3, Rohit (117* off 164 balls) and Rahane (83* off 135) shared an unbeaten 185-run stand to take the hosts into a comfortable position in the Test.Updated: Oct 20, 2019 07:41 IST
Opener Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane put together a stunning partnership to bail India out of trouble on the first day of third Test against South Africa at the JSCA Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Saturday. With India struggling at 39/3, Rohit (117* off 164 balls) and Rahane (83* off 135) shared an unbeaten 185-run stand to take the hosts into a comfortable position in the Test. India were 224/3 before bad light, followed by rain, forced an early stumps on the opening day.
Courtesy of their stunning partnership, Rohit and Rahane find their names in history books as they now hold the record for highest partnership for fourth wicket against South Africa in the longest format. The previous record was held by Rahane as well as he stitched a 178-run stand with Virat Kohli in the previous Test in Pune.
Earlier in the day, India skipper got lucky with the toss for the third time in a row and elected to bat without any hesitation. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was handed his Test debut as he was included in the side in place of Ishant Sharma.
However, the hosts didn’t have a great start as they lost inform opener Mayank Agarwal in the fifth over for 10. Mayank, who had scored centuries in the first two Tests, was caught at third slip as Rabada bowled a beauty. The ball moved away after pitching and Mayank had no option but to poke at that. Dean Elgar picked a brilliant low catch at third slip.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who came in next, once again fell prey to an inswinging delivery from Rabada as he was trapped leg-before wicket. With the score reading 16/2, skipper Kohli walked in.
While Kohli did try to steady the innings along with Rohit, but he had to walk back after the duo put on 23 runs for the third wicket. Anrich Nortje ended his 12-run inning by trapping him in front of the wickets to earn his maiden Test wicket.
However, Rohit and Rahane took the mantle in their hands from thereafter. Not only did they take the hosts out of hot waters, they also made sure the visitors remained on the backfoot for the rest of the day.
((With agency inputs))