Ranchi, Oct 19 (IANS) The morning doesn’t always show the day and the Proteas learnt it the hard way as opener Rohit Sharma and Test deputy Ajinkya Rahane made hay in the afternoon session after South Africa had reduced India to 71/3 in the first session of the third Test at the JSCA Stadium on Saturday. While Rohit scored his third hundred of the series, reaching the three-figure mark with a six, Rahane brought up another fifty as the score read 205/3 at Tea.
While Rohit is unbeaten on 108, Rahane is batting on 74. The second session saw the duo score as many as 134 runs with the former also adding another milestone in his kitty. Rohit now has the maximum sixes in a Test series with 16 in this one. He overtook West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer who had 15 sixes to his name against Bangaldesh.
Having played out the first session, Rohit changed gears in the second session and with an in-form Rahane for company, the duo looked to take the attack to the South Africa bowlers. While Rohit dealt in boundaries in the second session — hitting the South Africa spinners into the stands — Rahane was happy to play along the ground. But he too showed intent as he scored at a good pace.
The South African spinners though failed to rise to the challenge after Kagiso Rabada put the Indians on the backfoot in the first session. While skipper Virat Kohli decided to bat immediately after winning the toss, the visitors decided to make good use of the new ball.
India 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.
Brief Scores: India: 205/3 (Rohit Sharma 108, Ajinkya Rahane 74) vs South Africa