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.

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.

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.

India captain Virat Kohli has been sanctioned by the International Cricket Council following his clash with South Africa's Beuran Hendricks during Sunday's third T20I.

Kohli has received a demerit point and an official warning for an "inappropriate" shoulder contact with fast bowler Hendricks, who took 2-14 before South Africa prevailed by nine wickets in Bengaluru.

This amounts to the 30-year-old being found guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct

Kohli has now committed three offences since the ICC introduced its revised code in September 2016, meaning he faces a ban if he errs similarly again.

During last year's Test against South Africa at Centurion, he was fined 25 per cent of his match fee for his complaints to on-field umpire Michael Gough about the state of a damp ball – actions deemed "contrary to the spirit of the game".

When India faced Afghanistan at the World Cup in June, Kohli was punished for "excessive appealing and charging aggressively towards the umpire".

On both occasions, he was given a demerit point.

Under the ICC code, demerit points remain on a player's disciplinary record for two years. If they accrue four or more points within a 24-month period they are converted into suspension points – meaning a ban is handed down.

Captain Virat Kohli led from the front with an unbeaten 72 as India eased to a seven-wicket win over South Africa in the second match of their T20I series.

After Sunday's opener in Dharamsala was washed out, the home team did well with the ball to restrict the Proteas to 149-5, Quinton de Kock top-scoring with 52.

Not for the first time in his career, Kohli timed the chase superbly, keeping the run-rate under control before accelerating late on to see his team cruise over the line in Mohali with six balls to spare.

His 22nd score of 50 or more for India in the T20 format saw him move past team-mate Rohit Sharma, who made 12 before he was trapped lbw by Andile Phehlukwayo, atop the list of leading run-scorers at international level.

Shikhar Dhawan contributed 40 before falling to a sensational catch in the deep by David Miller, the fielder at long on motoring to his right before clinging onto the ball with one hand as he put in a full-length dive.

Still, the stunning piece of fielding, plus the dismissal Rishabh Pant (4), failed to inspire South Africa, with the masterful Kohli, whose innings spanned 52 deliveries, seeing India to their target. 

Visiting skipper De Kock had earlier hit eight boundaries in a 37-ball knock that was ended by a fine running catch by his opposite number, leaving the score at 88-2.

Temba Bavuma marked his international T20 bow with 49, but South Africa's middle order struggled to up the tempo in the second half of their innings.

Deepak Chahar removed the well-set Bavuma as he finished with impressive figures of 2-22, while Miller (18) was bowled by Hardik Pandya with the first ball of the 19th over.

Dwaine Pretorius and Phehlukwayo both hit huge sixes in the closing stages, but South Africa’s total always looked to be under par. They will now aim to draw the series when the teams meet again on Sunday, this time in Bangalore.

Virat Kohli says he has learned a lesson after sending a tweet about MS Dhoni that significantly heightened speculation the wicketkeeper-batsman was about to retire.

Kohli shared a photo of himself and Dhoni from a 2016 World Twenty20 victory over Australia on Thursday, adding the caption: "A game I can never forget. Special night. This man made me run like in a fitness test."

The post prompted a frenzied reaction on social media, with many Indian cricket fans and news outlets questioning whether a retirement announcement was imminent from Dhoni, who is not part of India's squad for the Twenty20 series with South Africa that starts on Sunday.

Addressing reporters on the eve of the first T20 against South Africa, India's skipper insisted he had not intended to cause such a stir.

"I didn't have anything on my mind," Kohli was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

"I was sitting at home and posted that photo normally. That became news and it's a lesson for me, that what I intend when I do something isn't how the world perceives it.

"I didn't even have the remotest idea that I should think about it before putting up that picture.

"Like I tweeted, I get memories of that game and I haven't talked about it before. So I thought I'll do a post about it and people inferred something else about it."

The future of Dhoni, 38, remains unclear. After featuring in the Cricket World Cup, he reportedly took a two-month sabbatical to spend time with his paramilitary regiment in the Territorial Army. 

Shubman Gill has been given a maiden Test call-up and Rohit Sharma is set to open in the upcoming home series against South Africa after KL Rahul was dropped.

Chief selector MSK Prasad revealed that Rohit will move to the top of the order for the three Tests against the Proteas, with the first match getting under way at Visakhapatnam on October 2.

Rahul misses out after failing to make a half-century in the recent 2-0 whitewash of West Indies in the Caribbean.

Gill has been included in a 15-man party just four days after the opener turned 20, while fellow batsman Mayank Agarwal retains his place.

Prasad said of limited-overs opener Rohit being included: "Yes, we are definitely looking at him [as an opener], and we want to give him an opportunity,

"He is keen, and all of us in the selection committee are keen. We want to push him, and give him some opportunities up the order, and see where he stands, and then we will take a call.

"He has been opening in white-ball cricket for more than a decade [since 2013]. We feel he has the ability to bat up the order, we have seen that in white-ball cricket, and if he can do that in red-ball cricket, then nothing like it.

"We have a lot of practice matches coming up, which will be a boost to this side."

 

India squad for South Africa Test series: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill.

West Indies batsman Kraigg Brathwaite has been reported for a suspect bowling action during the second Test against India.

Occasional off-spinner Brathwaite only delivered two overs in a 257-run loss to India in Kingston that finished on Monday, picking up figures of 1-8.

The 26-year-old was previously reported in August 2017 but was cleared following an assessment.

Brathwaite is required to submit for further testing by September 14 and can continue bowling in Tests until the results are known.

Steve Smith is back above Virat Kohli in the ICC Test batting rankings for the first time in over a year after the Australia star's fine start to the Ashes.

Even though he has missed the last three innings of the series due to a concussion-enforced absence, Smith has scored 378 runs - the most of any batsman - against England at an average of 126 in his first Tests since his year-long ban.

Kohli had held top spot in the rankings since August 2018, when Smith was displaced for the first time in three years while serving his suspension for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.

However, a second-innings golden duck against West Indies in Jamaica on Sunday meant Kohli was one point behind the Australian when the rankings were announced on Tuesday.

India skipper Kohli has not made a century in his three Tests this year and could now fall further behind Smith, who is expected to return for Australia when the fourth Ashes contest begins at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Kane Williamson is third in the rankings behind Smith and Kohli, with England captain Joe Root moving up to sixth and Ajinkya Rahane up to seven.

Virat Kohli insisted his whole team deserved credit after a second pummelling of West Indies ensured he became India's most successful Test captain.

Kohli's 28th win as skipper, which took him past the previous record tally of MS Dhoni, was just like the 27th, an emphatic thrashing of an overmatched Windies outfit.

India completed a 257-run victory on the fourth day of the second Test in Kingston.

Asked about his success as captain in the post-match presentation, Kohli said: "It's a by-product of the quality team that we have here, to be honest. I think all the credit has to go to the whole team.

"Captaincy is just a 'c' in front of your name, honestly. It's the collective effort that matters.

"It took a lot of character from the boys. It was a game full of grit and determination and [we're] really happy to get the result."

India - the world's number-one ranked side - now sit top of the World Test Championship table, their 2-0 series win in the Caribbean earning a maximum 120-point haul.

"For us it's just the start of the championship," said Kohli.

"What's happened in the past is irrelevant and we just want to look forward and keep continuing to play good cricket."

India's star batsman also lavished praise on Hanuma Vihari, who scored his maiden Test century in the first innings as India piled up 416.

"I think it was a top-class innings," said Kohli. "He's a guy who's very sure of his game and it shows when he plays.

"It's a very young career [so far] but he's shown why he has been backed and selected in this team."

No Windies player came close to matching Vihari's feats. Shamarh Brooks' second-innings fifty was the only score of note for a team bowled out for 117 and 210.

The Windies fared similarly in the first Test, making 222 and 100, leading skipper Jason Holder to state: "We just need to be able to put some scores on the board. We haven't been able to get the answers as yet."

India wrapped up another thumping win over West Indies on Monday, triumphing by 257 runs in Kingston to secure a 2-0 series victory.

The Windies were beaten by 318 runs in the first Test and their hopes of avoiding another heavy defeat appeared slim at best when they began day four on 45-2 having been set a notional target of 468.

Shamarh Brooks (50) and Jermaine Blackwood (38) delayed the inevitable, the latter featuring as a concussion substitute after Darren Bravo retired hurt having been struck on the helmet by Jasprit Bumrah in the final over of day three.

However, the Windies then slumped from 159-4 to 210 all out in the afternoon session, skipper Jason Holder the last man to fall for 39.

India - the world's number-one ranked side - therefore claim a maximum 120-point haul from their first series in the World Test Championship.

Brooks, who resumed with four to his name, could at least take consolation from a maiden international fifty.

After registering a golden duck in the first innings, he faced 119 balls at the second time of asking, striking nine fours including a glorious whip through square leg off Bumrah that brought up his half-century.

Only two wickets fell in the morning session, although Bravo walked off having made 23, with Blackwood subsequently named as his replacement.

The late call-up rode his luck to put on 61 with Brooks after Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer had fallen in quick succession.

Blackwood was dropped three times, while there was also a let-off for Brooks on 30 when he was caught at first slip off Ravindra Jadeja only for a no-ball to be called with the bowler having overstepped.

It mattered little in the end as the Windies subsided after lunch, Brooks run out by a brilliant direct hit from Virat Kohli amid the collapse.

Mohammed Shami and Jadeja finished with three wickets apiece, the latter rounding things off as Holder was bowled aiming a desperate heave across the line.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.