India 163/1 at tea on Day 1

India 163/1 at tea on Day 1

India 163/1 at tea on Day 1

India were 163 for one at tea on the first day of the second cricket Test against South Africa, here today.

Brief Scores: 163 for one in 53 overs (Murali Vijay 76 not out, Cheteshwar Pujara 55 not out; Morne Morkel 1/25).

Lunch Report:

India lost aggressive opener Shikhar Dhawan before reaching 76 for one at lunch against South Africa on the opening day of the second cricket Test, here today.

Murali Vijay was batting on 33 while Cheteshwar Pujara was watchfully unbeaten on 13 when the first break was taken at Kingsmead.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first in the Boxing Day Test, as the pitch offered little assistance to the bowlers.

In fact, even the Proteas were looking to bat first, as admitted by their captain Graeme Smith. They made one change to the side from Johannesburg, with left-arm spinner Robin Peterson coming in for leggie Imran Tahir.

Fast bowler Morne Morkel was declared fit on the morning of the match, recovering miraculously after twisting his ankle in the first Test.

India too made one change, surprisingly, with off-spinner R Ashwin dropped and left-arm bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja taking his place in the playing eleven.

Playing his last Test, Jacques Kallis led the hosts on to the field, wherein he was given a ten-second head-start by his team-mates, as the crowd cheered for the great all-rounder, who acknowledged them with raised hands and a bow with his hat.

Dhawan and Vijay then took guard against Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, with the former getting off the mark on the second delivery of the match, punching the ball down the ground for four.

Vijay was away in the second over as well as ten runs came in the first two overs.

Steyn and Philander bowled full first-up, looking for some swing, but the pitch was very flat and offered only bounce. In doing so, they gave some freebies to the Indian batsmen, as the duo played some beautiful punches to get the runs going.

In the first ten overs, India were nearly going along at four runs an over, with Morkel introduced into the attack as early as the 8th over. In the first hour of play, 41 runs came in 13 overs bowled as both batsmen looked comfortable and set for a big outing.

Just prior to the drinks break though, Steyn bowled a couple of maiden overs, working the batsmen with additional pace and bounce.

And the break worked against Dhawan, who was out first ball afterwards, playing a loose shot off Morkel. The ball left him a touch as he was out driving it and was caught at third slip by Alviro Petersen. Dhawan scored 29 runs off 49 balls with four fours, and ought to be kicking himself for getting out on this pitch, with bounce tailor-made for his shot-making.

At the other end, Vijay carried on from where he left off at the Wanderers. He was watchful early on, blunting the new ball, and the big difference was that the easy pitch allowed him to score more freely than in the two innings of the first Test.

South Africa brought on Jacques Kallis into the attack in the 16th over and then spin was introduced in the 21st over, with Robin Peterson bowling for the first time in the match.

But Vijay and new batsman Pujara were not too fussed as they negotiated the remainder of the session without any overtly troublesome moments, picking runs almost at will.

Morkel was the lone wicket-taker in this session with one for 14 from seven overs. Steyn (6-2-21-0) and Philander (7-4-12-0) went wicket-less while Kallis bowled three overs for 0-13.

Peterson sent down three as well costing 0-15.

The first Test of the series had resulted in a draw, after a pulsating fifth day, wherein South Africa just stopped eight runs short of a world-record fourth innings' chase after India had set them a target of 458 runs.