India steady after losing opener in S.Africa Test


India were 60-1 on the opening day of the fourth and final Test against South Africa Thursday after losing opener Murali Vijay early at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in New Delhi.

At lunch, left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan was batting on 31 with Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten on 14.

In smoggy conditions, the Indian openers started cautiously on a track that provided inconsistent bounce to South Africa’s pacemen.

Dhawan, who has been struggling for form, faced 18 deliveries before getting off the mark. But after growing in confidence, he hit a couple of boundaries, including a pulled four to mid-wicket off Dane Piedt.

Vijay, who has managed to get good starts in an otherwise low-scoring series, earned a reprieve on 10 when he edged a delivery from recalled paceman Kyle Abbott to AB de Villiers at second slip.

But the umpire signalled a no-ball as TV replays confirmed the delivery was not legitimate.

Vijay however failed to make the let-off count, edging one from Piedt to captain Hashim Amla in the slips after making 12.

Off-spinner Piedt, playing in only his second Test, impressed the most among the bowlers.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir however struggled, being whacked for a six by Pujara just before the lunch break.

India picked paceman Umesh Yadav in place of leg-spinner Amit Mishra in the only change from the side that won last week’s Test in Nagpur to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

The top-ranked tourists brought in opener Temba Bavuma, Abbott and Piedt in place of Stiaan van Zyl, Kagiso Rabada and Simon Harmer.