The third Test between India and South Africa went underway this morning with India captain Virat Kohli winning the toss and opting to bat first. After emphatic victories in Vishakhapatnam and Pune, Team India regained the Freedom Trophy which they lost in South Africa last year. However, the final match in Ranchi is still a crucial fixture for both teams as they will be looking to tally up some important points in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.
Team India were rocked early as they lost their opener Mayank Agarwal in the fifth over of the innings. Agarwal, who scored centuries in the first two Tests, could not bat with the same momentum here as he was dismissed for just 10. India's No.3, Cheteshwar Pujara became Rabada’s second victim of the day as the right-hander fell for a 9-ball duck. By this stage, the Indian team were struggling at 16-2 in 8.3 overs.
Pujara’s wicket brought in Indian captain Virat Kohli to the crease. He joined forces with Rohit Sharma but the two batsmen could only manage a 23-run partnership. Kohli was dismissed to Anrich Nortje in the 16th over as the right-hander failed to pick a full-length delivery. Kohli became Nortje’s first Test wicket to leave India reeling at 39-3.
At 39-3, Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane joined Rohit Sharma to counter-attack the Proteas bowling line-up. Both batsmen batted through the remaining overs till lunch break as Team India reached 71-3 in 23 overs.