Virat Kohli was keen to highlight the impressive efforts of his bowlers after India completed a resounding 203-run victory over South Africa in the first Test at Visakhapatnam.

Any hopes the Proteas had of batting out the final day were effectively ended before lunch as they slumped from 11-1 to 70-8, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja each striking three times in the morning session with the latter's wickets all coming in one over.

Debutant Senuran Muthusamy (49 not out) and Dane Piedt (56) delayed the inevitable with a defiant ninth-wicket partnership of 91 but South Africa were still bowled out for 191 as Shami returned to complete a five-wicket haul.

There was also a landmark wicket for Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday. The off-spinner's dismissal of Theunis de Bruyn was his 350th in Tests and came after he had returned 7-145 in the Proteas' first innings.

India's opening batsmen played key roles in their win, with Mayank Agarwal compiling 215 across the first two days and Rohit Sharma making 176 and 127 in a stunning first Test at the top of the order.

Although South Africa replied to India's 502-7 declared with 431, the hosts' second-innings score of 323-4 laid the platform for a dominant win.

"When you put 500 on the board you are always ahead of the game," said Kohli in the post-match presentation. "I think Rohit was outstanding in both innings, Mayank along with him in the first innings, brilliant.

"The batting heroes were obvious, but I think the bowlers had it tougher in this game, to keep going with the conditions, so they deserve a lot of credit as well."

Kohli described the performances of Jadeja and Ashwin as "really, really good", before praising Shami for his superb final-day showing.

"Shami has been a strike bowler for us in the second innings consistently now," the captain added. "If you see all his four- and five-wicket hauls, they invariably come in the second innings when the team needs it. [When] the ball is reversing a bit, that's his strength."

Man of the match Rohit revealed he had been well-prepared for his first experience as a Test opener.

"A couple of years ago it was communicated to me that you might open at some stage, so I was prepared for it," he explained.

"Even in the nets whenever I was not playing a Test match, I would practice with the red ball, with the new ball. In my mind I was pretty much ready to have that opportunity any time.

"I wouldn't say it came to me as a surprise, I was ready for it. It was a great opportunity for me at the top of the order, doing it for the first time, so I just wanted to enjoy the moment. At the same time, I'm really thankful to the coach, captain and the selectors for giving me that opportunity."

Virat Kohli was keen to highlight the impressive efforts of his bowlers after India completed a resounding 203-run victory over South Africa in the first Test at Visakhapatnam.

Any hopes the Proteas had of batting out the final day were effectively ended before lunch as they slumped from 11-1 to 70-8, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja each striking three times in the morning session with the latter's wickets all coming in one over.

Debutant Senuran Muthusamy (49 not out) and Dane Piedt (56) delayed the inevitable with a defiant ninth-wicket partnership of 91 but South Africa were still bowled out for 191 as Shami returned to complete a five-wicket haul.

There was also a landmark wicket for Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday. The off-spinner's dismissal of Theunis de Bruyn was his 350th in Tests and came after he had returned 7-145 in the Proteas' first innings.

India's opening batsmen played key roles in their win, with Mayank Agarwal compiling 215 across the first two days and Rohit Sharma making 176 and 127 in a stunning first Test at the top of the order.

Although South Africa replied to India's 502-7 declared with 431, the hosts' second-innings score of 323-4 laid the platform for a dominant win.

"When you put 500 on the board you are always ahead of the game," said Kohli in the post-match presentation. "I think Rohit was outstanding in both innings, Mayank along with him in the first innings, brilliant.

"The batting heroes were obvious, but I think the bowlers had it tougher in this game, to keep going with the conditions, so they deserve a lot of credit as well."

Kohli described the performances of Jadeja and Ashwin as "really, really good", before praising Shami for his superb final-day showing.

"Shami has been a strike bowler for us in the second innings consistently now," the captain added. "If you see all his four- and five-wicket hauls, they invariably come in the second innings when the team needs it. [When] the ball is reversing a bit, that's his strength."

Man of the match Rohit revealed he had been well-prepared for his first experience as a Test opener.

"A couple of years ago it was communicated to me that you might open at some stage, so I was prepared for it," he explained.

"Even in the nets whenever I was not playing a Test match, I would practice with the red ball, with the new ball. In my mind I was pretty much ready to have that opportunity any time.

"I wouldn't say it came to me as a surprise, I was ready for it. It was a great opportunity for me at the top of the order, doing it for the first time, so I just wanted to enjoy the moment. At the same time, I'm really thankful to the coach, captain and the selectors for giving me that opportunity."

India completed a thumping 203-run win over South Africa in the first Test at Visakhapatnam, despite some valiant lower-order resistance from the tourists on day five.

Ninth-wicket pair Senuran Muthusamy and Dane Piedt put on 91 either side of lunch to delay the inevitable, after the Proteas had collapsed to 70-8 at the hands of Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami.

Piedt brought up his maiden half-century during the defiant stand, while debutant Muthusamy was left stranded on 49 not out when Shami (5-35) ousted Kagiso Rabada for 18 to complete his five-wicket haul and bring the contest to an end.

South Africa were dismissed for 191, the damage having been done in a dramatic morning session highlighted by Jadeja (4-87) claiming three wickets in one over.


While Shami and Jadeja were the final-day heroes for India, the hosts' position of dominance owed much to Rohit Sharma, who marked his first Test as an opener with twin hundreds, first-innings double-centurion Mayank Agarwal and Ravichandran Ashwin (7-145 in South Africa's first dig).

After resuming on 11-1, the tourists' slim hopes of batting out the final day were soon dented significantly as Ashwin cleaned up Theunis de Bruyn in the second over of the day to claim his 350th Test wicket in only his 66th match.

De Bruyn was the first of four South African batsmen in succession to be bowled, with Temba Bavuma (0), skipper Faf du Plessis (12) and Quinton de Kock (0) all falling to Shami as variable bounce made batting increasingly tricky.

Jadeja then took centre stage in the 27th over, first taking a return catch to dismiss Aiden Markram, who had dug in to make 39, before trapping Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj lbw with successive balls.

To their credit, Muthusamy and Piedt battled through to lunch and then extended their partnership into the afternoon, the latter bringing up his first Test fifty from 86 balls with eight fours and a six.

It took the return of Shami to finally break the stand, the experienced paceman bowling Piedt with the first ball of a new spell.

Last man Rabada thumped four boundaries but he too fell victim to Shami, denying Muthusamy a half-century.

The second of three Tests starts at Pune on Thursday.

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has vowed to be "back in no time" after undergoing lower back surgery.

Pandya was stretchered off after damaging his back during an Asia Cup encounter with Pakistan in September 2018.

The 25-year-old recovered to take his part in the Cricket World Cup, but did not feature in the tour of West Indies after the tournament in England and Wales. 

Pandya returned in the home Twenty20 International series against South Africa last month, but now faces a period of rehabilitation after going under the knife in London.

A BCCI press release stated: "Hardik Pandya complained of lower back pain after India's final T20I against South Africa in Bengaluru on 22nd September.

"The BCCI Medical Team consulted a panel of spine specialists in England and they recommended surgery for a long-term solution of this issue.

"The all-rounder travelled to London on 2nd October with Team India physiotherapist Mr Yogesh Parmar. On Friday, a successful surgery was conducted. Hardik will soon commence his rehabilitation process."

Pandya tweeted: "Surgery done successfully. Extremely grateful to everyone for your wishes. Will be back in no time! Till then miss me."

Rohit Sharma scored his second century in the match before Ravindra Jadeja picked up a late wicket on day four to boost India's hopes of victory in the first Test. 

Opener Rohit followed up his 176 in the first innings with 127 on Saturday to help set up a declaration, with the visitors reaching stumps on 11-1 in pursuit of an unlikely victory target of 395. 

The Proteas lost first-innings centurion Dean Elgar for two in fading light, Jadeja getting the late breakthrough with the aid of DRS after his lbw appeal was initially rejected by on-field umpire Richard Illingworth. 

Aiden Markram was unbeaten on three while Theunis de Bruyn was five not out at the close, though the tourists will have to survive a final-day trial by spin if they are to escape Visakhapatnam unscathed. 

Rohit launched seven sixes in his ton, meaning he has now hit the most for his country in all three formats of the game, to take his tally for the match to 13, in the process beating Wasim Akram's record for a single Test. 

The more patient Cheteshwar Pujara contributed 81 during a second-wicket stand of 169 for the hosts, who had been frustrated by South Africa's tail in the morning session before Ravichandran Ashwin claimed the final two wickets in the Proteas' first innings to finish with 7-145. 

Senuran Muthusamy ended up unbeaten on 33 as he combined with Keshav Maharaj (9) and Kagiso Rabada (15) to lift their side's final total to 431, limiting India's advantage to 71 runs. 

Mayank Agarwal (7) was an early casualty for India but they steadily built on their advantage on a pitch providing plenty of assistance to the slow bowlers. 

Rohit became only the second India opener to score centuries in both innings – following in the footsteps in the Sunil Gavaskar – as he moved through the gears, his onslaught eventually ended when he was stumped off Maharaj. 

Promoted up the order following Pujara's departure, Jadeja cleared the boundary three times himself to make 40, while captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were 31 and 27 not out when the former declared at 323-4. 

Dean Elgar's first century against India helped South Africa mount a spirited fightback at Visakhapatnam, but the Proteas still have work to do after finishing day three of the first Test on 385-8, 117 runs behind.

After India had declared on 502-7 the day before, Elgar (160) and Quinton de Kock (111) were in inspired form, leading South Africa through several moments when it looked as though the hosts' attack was getting on top.

Elgar did offer a chance to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha on 74, but he escaped and went on to take full advantage, playing the spinners with skill and application as he secured his 12th Test hundred before eventually becoming Ravindra Jadeja's 200th Test victim.

De Kock also caught the eye, while the 55-run contribution from captain Faf du Plessis was applaudable, though India still find themselves in control ahead of day four, with the knocks from Mayank Agarwal (215) and Rohit Sharma (176) on Tuesday proving vital.

The tourists were soon reduced to 63-4 after resuming in deep trouble on 39-3, Ishant Sharma trapping Temba Bavuma in front for 18, but a stand of 115 between Elgar and Du Plessis frustrated India.

Elgar clattered Jadeja for two sixes in an over and was given a life when he edged the same bowler behind but Saha was unable to cling on and the Proteas recovered to 153-4 at lunch.

Du Plessis continued to play positively, dancing down the track to hit Ravichandran Ashwin down the ground for six and the captain had his half-century early in the afternoon session.

He failed to go on, though, and his assertive knock ended tamely when he was taken by Cheteshwar Pujara at leg slip off Ashwin. 

Elgar continued to play the spinners with authority and the left-hander brought up a hard-earned hundred in style by slog-sweeping Ashwin for a fourth six of his outstanding innings.

De Kock adopted his usual aggressive approach, showing great timing with classy drives as the runs flowed and the wicketkeeper-batsman raced to 50 in 79 balls. 

Elgar took two boundaries off a Jadeja over to move on to 150, but the opener finally fell out of the blue, departing to a standing ovation after Pujara held on running in from square leg to allow Jadeja to reach his milestone.

Ajinkya Rahane failed to take a difficult chance to remove Senuran Muthusamy without scoring and De Kock took the same approach as Elgar to move to three figures, dispatching Ashwin for a big six.

De Kock's resistance eventually failed on 111, however, Ashwin sending a wicked delivery through the gate and he then claimed Vernon Philander for a duck from the final wicket of the day.

Mayank Agarwal's double-century helped India build up a huge lead before spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja tightened their grip on the first Test against South Africa.

Batting in only his eighth Test innings - and his first in India - Agarwal (215) became the 23rd Indian batsman to post a double century in the longest format, having shared a 317-run opening stand with Rohit Sharma (176).

Virat Kohli eventually called his men in when they were 502-7 in the day's final session, and Ashwin and Jadeja took three wickets between them in the 20 overs South Africa's batsmen faced to leave them firmly up against it.

Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn and Dane Piedt all fell as the Proteas closed on 39-3, still 463 runs adrift.

Rohit resumed on 115 and Agarwal, 84 overnight, soon joined him in reaching three figures - the openers then going on to become only the third Indian pair to have a first-wicket partnership worth 300.

South Africa finally made a breakthrough when Rohit, one shy of his best Test score, was stumped off Keshav Maharaj (3-189) in his first innings as an opener.

Cheteshwar Pujara fell from the first ball after lunch and captain Kohli (20) meekly chipped back to bowler Senuran Muthusamy to give him his first Test dismissal before Agarwal reached his double century off 358 balls.

After Ajinkya Rahane became the fourth man out, Agarwal's knock was finally ended when Piedt took a diving catch at deep midwicket from Dean Elgar's only over, with Kohli declaring after Jadeja (30 not out) helped take India past 500.

South Africa then lost Markram at the start of their eighth over, a delivery from Ashwin (2-9) that snuck between bat and pad, and the same bowler found De Bruyn's edge to leave the Proteas two down.

Nightwatchman Piedt was bowled by Jadeja (1-21) six balls later, meaning Elgar (27 not out) and Temba Bavuma (7no) will start day three needing to drag their team out of the mire.

Rohit Sharma justified his promotion to opening batsman with a classy century as India dominated a shortened day one of the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam.

Captain Virat Kohli said this week the decision to bump Rohit – who has been in and out of India's team in the five-day format – up the order had been discussed "for a long time".

It was a move that paid immediate dividends as Rohit, six years on from a debut Test century, scored a classy unbeaten 115 off 174 balls, his knock including 12 fours and five sixes.

Mayank Agarwal (84 not out) was just 16 runs shy of a maiden Test hundred before rain brought an early end to proceedings just after 15:30pm local time.

Rohit and Agarwal put on India's 13th 200-run stand and South Africa's attack lacked the cutting edge to trouble India's openers, save for a tricky opening half-hour, and the hosts will resume day two on 202-0.

South Africa's three-pronged spin attack of Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt and Senuran Muthusamy toiled against the brilliance of Rohit, who was unbeaten on 52 by the time India were 91-0 at lunch.

Comfortable on the back foot and not afraid to play down the track, Rohit saw out a difficult opening spell to bed himself in, with Agarwal also making South Africa's bowlers pay whenever they over-pitched.

There was little respite in the afternoon session, Rohit accelerating with back-to-back sixes off Piedt in the 50th over and even his most ardent critics were celebrating when he raised his bat to salute a century shortly after.

An early tea for rain brought some relief for South Africa and the adverse weather meant no more play was possible on a day where India dominated.

Virat Kohli has given his backing to returning wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha after India opted to leave out Rishabh Pant for the first Test against South Africa.

Saha has not played Test cricket since January 2018 due to a series of injuries - notably a serious shoulder problem - and Pant earned a regular role in his place, starting with the tour of England last year.

But, on the eve of the series with South Africa, India have recalled the 34-year-old, meaning Pant - to the surprise of many – is dropped from the XI.

Captain Kohli appeared to suggest it was a straightforward call, though, describing Saha as "the best keeper in the world".

"Saha is fit and fine to go," Kohli told a news conference. "He's going to start for us in this series and his keeping credentials are there for everyone to see.

"He's played well for us whenever he's got a chance, with the bat also, and it was unfortunate that he was out for such a long period because of an injury.

"For me, he's the best keeper in the world, so in these conditions, with what he's done in the past, he starts for us."

Kohli revealed Saha had almost come into the side for the previous Test series against West Indies, but India decided to stay patient and stick with Pant in the short term.

"Saha was almost going to start [that series in the Caribbean], but we felt it was better to let him ease back into things, rather than forcing him again into starting immediately," Kohli said.

"We all felt that he'd just come back and, although he was keeping well and batting well, it was fair to give Rishabh a few more opportunities because of what he's done in the past season for us.

"But Saha was always going to be someone who we would back as a pure keeper in Test cricket. He has done well under pressure situation also in the past for us.

"It was just about finding the right opportunity and moment to bring him back in."

India had already confirmed Rohit Sharma will open the batting against the Proteas, while Ravichandran Ashwin comes back into the team for the game in Visakhapatnam.

Afghanistan have appointed Lance Klusener as their new head coach.

The former South Africa all-rounder takes over following the departure of Phil Simmons, who left the post after the Cricket World Cup, with Andy Moles having served as interim coach for the recent tour of Bangladesh.

Klusener, who played 49 Tests and 171 ODI games for the Proteas, has filled a number of different roles since ending his playing career, including serving as batting coach for Zimbabwe in 2016.

He has also worked with Mumbai Indians' bowlers in the Indian Premier League, as well as being part of interim team director Enoch Nkwe's staff for the Twenty20 series during South Africa's ongoing tour of India.

"I am extremely excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to work with some of the best talent in world cricket," Klusener said.

"Everyone knows the fearless brand of cricket Afghanistan play. I am very confident that with some hard work we can become one of the best sides in the world.

"I am really looking forward to working with the Afghanistan team and helping them take their cricket to the next level."

India's star paceman Jasprit Bumrah will miss the upcoming Tests against South Africa with a back issue.

The sides drew 1-1 in their rain-affected three-match Twenty20 series but India have been dealt a blow ahead of the opening Test against the Proteas next week as Bumrah has been ruled out.

The 25-year-old has suffered a minor stress fracture in his lower back, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a short statement on Twitter, and he has been replaced by Umesh Yadav.

Bumrah has enjoyed an outstanding start to life in Test cricket since his January 2018 debut.

He has played 12 Tests and collected 62 wickets, including an impressive five five-wicket hauls, taking a hat-trick in his last match against West Indies in August.

Jonny Bairstow has been left out of England's Test squad for the tour of New Zealand in November.

The Yorkshire batsman is in the 15-man Twenty20 group but misses out on the two-match series against the Black Caps, having failed to impress during the 2-2 Ashes draw with Australia on home soil.

Dominic Sibley has won a first call-up after an exceptional County Championship with Warwickshire, alongside Matt Parkinson, Zak Crawley and Saqib Mahmood.

Lancashire's Parkinson and Worcestershire seamer Pat Brown are included in the T20 squad for the first time, as is Tom Banton, who hit 549 runs for Somerset in the Vitality Blast.

Injured trio James Anderson, Mark Wood and Olly Stone are left out, the former now working on being fit for the tour of South Africa, which starts in December.

The two Tests against New Zealand, due to start on November 21 and 29, do not form part of the ICC World Test Championship.

The five-match T20I series gets underway in Christchurch on November 1.

England Test squad:

Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

England T20 squad:

Eoin Morgan (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, James Vince.

Moeen Ali has requested a break from Test cricket after being dropped from the England team and losing his all-format central contract.

The all-rounder had been contracted by England for all formats since 2014-15 but it was confirmed on Friday he had only received a white-ball deal for 2019-20.

Th news came after Moeen was left out of the squad for the second Ashes Test in August, having taken 3-172 and scored four with the bat across both innings of a humbling opening defeat to Australia.

It was revealed at the time Moeen would look to spend some time "recharging" before making his county return for Worcestershire.

But having starred in guiding reigning T20 Blast champions Worcestershire to a second successive Finals Day, he plans to prolong his Test absence.

"It's just to get away from it a little bit. I feel like I want to enjoy my batting and this will give me a bit of a break," Moeen told ESPNcricinfo.

"I want to spend some time with the family. I've been playing for England for five years and it's been quite tough.

"The intensity is obviously higher in Test cricket so this is just to give me a break and then we will see what happens after that.

"I'm not ruling out playing Test cricket in the future. I've had long chats and thought about it quite a lot. I just want to give myself a bit of time to refresh my batteries and see where it goes after that."

England captain Joe Root stated in August that the first Ashes Test was "certainly not the last we'll see of [Moeen]".

Moeen has taken 181 wickets across 60 Tests, but Ashley Giles, the managing director of England men's cricket, has no issue with his period of indefinite leave.

"For all the guys, not just Moeen, it's been a really challenging summer," Giles said.

"A World Cup and an Ashes back-to-back has had a massive effect on many of these guys psychologically, as much as physically.

"Some of those guys are still carrying [these issues] - one of them being Moeen.

"His experience in the first Test wasn't a great one, but that's cricket. He's has been a great servant for his team. That's why I encouraged him to leave that option open to come back.

"He might just need to go away and freshen up. But he's been a really good servant for this team and he's still relatively young."

Joe Root will captain England's Test side regardless of their new head coach, Ashley Giles has confirmed.

Test skipper Root came under pressure in the recent Ashes series as England were held to a 2-2 draw, seeing Australia retain the urn as tourists for the first time since 2001.

The uncertainty around the coaching position added to speculation regarding the Yorkshireman's future, with Trevor Bayliss leaving his role following the series.

But Giles, the managing director of England men's cricket, has confirmed Root will continue to lead the side going forward.

"There have been no questions asked [about Root's future] by me," Giles told Sky Sports News. "I would hope that is the most important thing for now.

"One of the most important things for Joe is that we now redress that balance between red and white-ball cricket and we have more focus on Test match cricket.

"And when the new coach arrives, Joe gets a choice to sit down with him and really plan and decide a way forward - with me as well - our DNA around Test cricket going forward.

"If I were Joe, and we've had these discussions, we need to start planning towards winning the Ashes back in Australia in just over two years."

England will have one coach across all formats when they replace Bayliss, with Giles adding: "It's an exciting process because it's my first big appointment and we need to get it right."

The team's central contracts for the 2019-20 season were confirmed on Friday, with Eoin Morgan, England's white-ball captain, also set to continue in his role after winning the Cricket World Cup.

He has been given a limited-overs contract again, with Jofra Archer awarded an all-format deal.

The paceman starred in his first international campaign, playing key roles as England won the Cricket World Cup and drew the Ashes.

Rory Burns has been handed a Test contract following his performances against Australia, although Joe Denly got a white-ball deal.

Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, previously contracted across all three formats, received limited-overs agreements, while Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett and David Willey missed out completely.

Jack Leach and Sam Curran were granted incremental deals.

Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya has been banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months after his action was ruled illegal.

An independent assessment determined his delivery method contained a technical flaw, the International Cricket Council confirmed.

Dananjaya was reported for a suspect bowling action during the first Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, which took place from August 14 to 18 in Galle, with Kane Williamson also flagged.

The Sri Lanka spinner had produced a first-innings five-wicket haul in his team's six-wicket win.

Dananjaya, who was suspended late last year after his bowling action was reported against England, subsequently faced an independent assessment on August 29.

This assessment revealed his illegal action and, given the prior suspension, he was automatically suspended from bowling in the international game for a year.

Dananjaya will be able to approach the ICC for re-assessment following this period, the world governing body said.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.