October 19, 2019 01:12 PM NPT
FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Sri Lanka v South Africa - Emirates Riverside, Chester-Le-Street, Britain - June 28, 2019 South Africa's Kagiso Rabada celebrates taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
NEW DELHI, Oct 19: Kagiso Rabada bowled with unbridled hostility to wreck India’s top order and help reduce the hosts to 71 for three wickets at lunch on the opening day of the third and final test in Ranchi on Saturday.
Virat Kohli won his third successive toss of the series but the Indian top order could not make the most of it with the exception of Rohit Sharma who was batting on 38 at the break.
Ajinkya Rahane was giving him company on 11 and the Mumbai duo will hope to rebuild the innings after the early jolts as India seek to consolidate their place atop the World Test Championship table with a series whitewash.
Visiting captain Faf du Plessis turned up with teammate Temba Bavuma as proxy skipper for flipping of the coin but South Africa still lost their 10th toss in a row in India.
Armed with the new ball, Rabada made the most of the morning conditions, bowling fuller and generating enough swing to trouble the batsmen.
One of those drew Mayank Agarwal out to edge to slip where Dean Elgar took a low catch to dismiss the in-form opener.
India’s number three Cheteshwar Pujara survived a leg before appeal against Rabada who was excited but du Plessis wisely decided against reviewing the not-out decision.
Next time Rabada hit Pujara on the pad, the bowler’s conviction prompted du Plessis to challenge the not-out decision and they were rewarded with the wicket of the scoreless batsman.
Rabada was celebrating his third success of the morning when Rohit was adjudged lbw but the opener immediately reviewed the decision which was reversed after replays confirmed an inside edge.
Anrich Nortje, playing his second test, struck the biggest blow when he trapped Kohli leg before for 12. The home captain reviewed the decision but could not get it overturned.
India Spinner Shahbaz Nadeem made his test debut replacing quick Ishant Sharma, while stumper Heinrich Klaasen and left-arm spinner George Linde also earned their maiden test caps for South Africa.