Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal will open for India in the ODI series against New Zealand after Rohit Sharma was ruled out for the rest of the tour.

Agarwal was called up to the Test squad on Tuesday after Rohit suffered a tour-ending calf injury.

Shaw was also named in the 16-man Test squad along with Ishant Sharma, although the paceman's participation depends on whether he recovers from an ankle injury.

Fit-again Jasprit Bumrah was also included for two Tests that will come after a three-match ODI series against the Cricket World Cup runners-up, which gets under way at Seddon Park on Wednesday.

Virat Kohli confirmed it Shaw and Agarwal will be at the top of the order in the absence of Rohit as India look to maintain their momentum after a 5-0 Twenty20 International series whitewash of New Zealand.

Asked about the possibility of KL Rahul opening in the 50-over format, Kohli - who revealed the team management had asked for another opener to be flown out - replied: "No, we are looking to stick to that same plan.

"It's an unfortunate situation that Rohit can't be a part of this series. In all formats, he's on the list first and the impact he's had is there for everyone to see.

"We don't have any one-day tournaments to look forward to so it's an ideal time for him to go away and rectify this as soon as he can. He played the T20I series, so from the team's balance perspective heading into a World Cup year, it doesn't hamper combinations.

"Prithvi's in the team and will definitely start and whoever the replacement is [Agarwal] - we've asked for an opener. KL will play in the middle-order, we want him to get used to that role at number five and keep as well."

Rohit Sharma smashed back-to-back sixes to inflict more Super Over misery on New Zealand as India snatched a Twenty20 International series-clinching victory in a Seddon Park thriller.

The Blacks Caps looked primed to make it 2-1 with two matches to play after they were set 180 to win in Hamilton on Wednesday courtesy of Kane Williamson's highest T20I score.

New Zealand needed just three to win off five balls in the last of their 20 regulation overs after Ross Taylor hit Mohammed Shami for six, but Williamson fell for a magnificent 95 two balls later.

There was more much more drama to come, with Taylor bowled off the last ball to leave the scores level with the hosts 179-6.

Williamson and Martin Guptill posted 17 off the extra over from Jasprit Bumrah and it appeared that would be enough with Rohit ​– who earlier top scored with 65 in India's 179-5 – needing 10 off two deliveries from Tim Southee, but the opener hammered the paceman for two sixes in a pulsating finale.

The stunning victory sealed India's first T20 series win in New Zealand, with Williamson and his side left shell-shocked again six months after a Super Over loss to England in the Cricket World Cup final, with the same opponents beating by the same method in November.

Williamson must have been fearing the worst when India were 69 without loss after the powerplay, Rohit clubbing three sixes in a sixth over from Hamish Bennett (3-54) that went for 27.

Colin de Grandhomme ended an opening stand of 89 when he had the in-form KL Rahul (27) taken by Colin Munro at point and the powerful Rohit was caught by Southee at long-on attempting to launch Bennett for another six. 

Virat Kohli (38) became the expensive Bennett's third victim before Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja dispatched slower balls from Southee for six in a final over that cost 18 runs.

Martin Guptill blasted the second ball of the run chase from Shardul Thakur (2-21) beyond the rope, but the fast bowler sent the opener packing for 31 after he had struck another two sixes.

Munro and Mitchell Santner missed out, but Williamson raced to a 28-ball half-century before punching Jadeja for back-to-back sixes with exquisite timing. 

The skipper also set about Bumrah after de Grandhomme fell to Thakur, but he was unable to see New Zealand home, edging behind to end a stunning 48-ball masterclass that included six sixes.

New Zealand must have felt a sense of deja vu when Taylor was cleaned up by Shami (2-32) to extend the match and Rohit proved to be the Super Over hero on this occasion as Southee was given the treatment.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli delivered sensational performances as they led India to a seven-wicket triumph over Australia, meaning the hosts clinched the three-match ODI series 2-1 despite Steve Smith's century in Bengaluru.

Smith's 131 and 54 from Marnus Labuschagne provided the highlights of Australia's innings after Aaron Finch elected to bat first, but India restricted their opponents to 286-9.

India were hampered by the loss of Shikhar Dhawan for their reply, the opener's shoulder injury casting his participation in the upcoming tour of New Zealand into doubt.

However, once Smith's resistance ended amid a flurry of late wickets, Rohit (119) and Kohli (89) guided their side to an emphatic win, completed with 15 balls to spare.

Dhawan had to leave the field early in Australia's innings and he was duly sent for an x-ray on his left shoulder, which he hurt while diving in the field.

By that stage India already had their tails up, with Mohammed Shami (4-63) having drawn David Warner (3) into a reckless shot outside off that yielded an edge behind to KL Rahul.

India had their second wicket soon after – a mix-up between Smith and Finch resulting in the latter being run out for 19.

Smith, with support from Labuschagne, made up for his mistake, the duo both working their way to half-centuries and propelling Australia to 173-2 midway through the 32nd over.

Ravindra Jadeja claimed the breakthrough wicket, though, with Kohli taking an excellent catch low to his right to dismiss Labuschagne, and the promoted Mitchell Starc fell to the same bowler three balls later.

From looking well poised, Australia were now on the back foot and, though Alex Carey (35) offered a decent cameo, the emphasis was all on Smith.

The 30-year-old – who had surpassed 4,000 ODI runs in the 34th over – brought up his ninth one-day hundred with a crisp single, and then let rip, hitting four boundaries before succumbing to Shami.

However, Australia were unable to get up to 300 as Shami also removed Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa at the death.

Despite being shorn of the injured Dhawan, India swiftly got into their stride in reply, Rohit looking in superb touch either side of the loss of Rahul (19) to Ashton Agar in the 13th over.

Rohit, who made 209 from 158 balls against Australia in Bengaluru seven years ago, set about targeting Ashton Agar and Labuschagne – who he hit for a huge six – as captain Kohli also clicked into gear.

A single to third man off Josh Hazlewood took Rohit to another glorious hundred, his eighth against Australia, and his sixth maximum brought up the century partnership before he finally fell to Zampa.

At that point, India needed just 81 from 13.2 overs and Shreyas Iyer (44 not out) quickly settled in alongside Kohli to make victory certain, despite the captain falling to Hazlewood with 13 still required.

India have included fit-again duo Jasprit Bumrah and Shikhar Dhawan in their squads for the upcoming limited-overs games against Sri Lanka and Australia.

Paceman Bumrah has not played for his country since the Test series against West Indies concluded early in September due to a stress fracture of the back.

However, the 26-year-old is set to make his return in the three-match Twenty20 series with Sri Lanka, which takes place early in January.

Bumrah – who was part of India's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup - will also be involved when Australia are the visitors for three one-dayers later in the same month.

Dhawan also returns, the opening batsman available after overcoming a leg injury. However, Hardik Pandya is absent as he continues to recover from a back problem.

Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, is rested for the Sri Lanka series, along with fast bowler Mohammed Shami.

The first T20 takes place on January 5 in Guwahati, followed by games in Indore (January 7) and Pune (January 10).

As for the series with Australia, that begins in Mumbai on January 14. Virat Kohli's side will then be in 50-over action in Rajkot three days later, followed by the finale in Bangalore on January 19.

 

India squad for T20 series against Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Washington Sundar.

India squad for ODI series against Australia: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami.

Virat Kohli made a 55th ODI half-century following fireworks from Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard as India pulled off a big run chase to beat West Indies by four wickets and win the series 2-1.

Pooran (89 from 64 balls) and Pollard (74 not out off 51) bludgeoned 118 runs off the last 10 overs to get the Windies up to an imposing 315-5 at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday.

That was not sufficient for the tourists to secure a first bilateral ODI series win over India for 13 years, though, as the second-ranked side in the world reached their target in the penultimate over.

Rohit Sharma hit a run-a-ball 63, while KL Rahul (77) and Kohli (85) also made half-centuries before Ravindra Jadeja (39no) and Shardul Thakur (17no) finished off the job. 

Keemo Paul was the pick of the bowlers with 3-59 and Shai Hope became the second-fastest to 3000 ODI runs, but that was scant consolation for Pollard's men.

The Windies got off to steady start after being put in by Kohli and Evin Lewis fell for a scratchy 21 before Hope was bowled playing across the line to a delivery from Mohammed Shami.

Shimron Hetmyer (37) struck a couple of lusty sixes but became Navdeep Saini's first ODI victim after he was put down by Rishabh Pant and Roston Chase (38) lost his off stump to a yorker from the debutant.

Pooran, also dropped by Pant, and Pollard cut loose with a devastating late onslaught, the former reaching his half-century with a second six in an expensive over from Kuldeep Yadav.

The majestic Pooran missed out on his hundred when he was removed by Shardul in the 48th over, but Pollard swelled his tally of sixes to seven to leave India facing a big run chase.

Rohit and Rahul - centurions in the second ODI - made a great start, the former stepping on the accelerator with a six and four in the fourth over from Jason Holder as the openers scored at around a run a ball for the first 15 overs.

Rahul was the first to reach his half-century after the 100 stand was brought up and Rohit moved to his 43rd ODI fifty, but was gone after edging Holder behind.

The elegant Rahul gloved Alzarri Joseph to Hope and India were 201-4 with 15 overs to bowl after Paul removed Shreyas Iyer and Pant in successive overs.

Kohli coasted to his half-century from only 51 with an array of sublime strokes and positive running, with India needing 79 for victory off the last 10 overs, but there was stunned silence when he chopped on attempting to drive Paul through the off side.

India required 30 from 23 balls when Kohli trudged off, but Shardul hooked Sheldon Cottrell for six in a 48th over that cost 15 runs and Jadeja showed his all-round class as India got home with eight balls to spare.

Rohit Sharma smashed his seventh one-day international century of 2019 before Kuldeep Yadav took a hat-trick as India levelled their series against West Indies with a 107-run victory.

An opening partnership worth 227 between Rohit (159) and KL Rahul (102) laid the platform for the home side to post 387-5, with Shreyas Iyer (53) and Rishabh Pant (39) providing late fireworks after captain Virat Kohli fell for a golden duck.

Some brutal hitting from Shai Hope (78) and Nicholas Pooran (75) gave the Windies belief, yet Mohammed Shami (3-39) struck in back-to-back deliveries as visiting skipper Kieron Pollard was also dismissed first ball.

Kuldeep (3-52) then became the first Indian to claim two ODI hat-tricks as Kohli's side bowled West Indies out for 280 to wrap up the win with 6.3 overs to spare, setting up a decider in the third and final ODI on Sunday.

Rohit, the leading run-scorer in ODIs this year, was dropped on 70 by Shimron Hetmyer in the 28th over and he went on to beat his partner Rahul to three figures.

It was Rohit's seventh ODI century in 2019 and his 10th across all formats; only Sachin Tendulkar with nine centuries in 1998 has accrued more three-figure scores in the 50-over game across a calendar year.

Rahul soon joined him in bringing up that milestone but he fell later that over when he picked out third man, and India lost wickets in successive overs as Kohli offered Roston Chase a simple catch at short midwicket off Pollard.

Rohit became the first Indian to score 150 in an ODI this year with a fifth maximum of his innings and, after he nicked Sheldon Cottrell behind, Iyer and Pant hit the accelerator, the pair scoring 55 across the 46th and 47th overs to leave the tourists chasing a huge total.

Opener Hope was dropped at slip by Rahul from his first ball faced but India picked up three wickets in quick succession to go from 61 without loss to 86-3.

Hetmyer fell to some fantastic fielding from Iyer, who dove to save a boundary before recovering and delivering a pinpoint throw to the non-striker's end, though Hope and Pooran soon took the field out of the equation with some huge hitting.

In among his six maximums, Pooran was dropped, yet his 106-run stand with Hope was eventually ended when he top-edged down to Kuldeep.

Pollard was removed from the very next ball – the first time in ODIs both captains had been dismissed for golden ducks – and while Shami could not get a hat-trick, Kuldeep did.

Hope was the first of that trio to go, Kohli leaping up and balancing on one leg by the rope to take the catch, with Jason Holder stumped and Alzarri Joseph edging to second slip.

Shami, now the leading wicket-taker in ODIs this year, took his 41st wicket of 2019 by bowling Keemo Paul (46) to seal the win.

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli bludgeoned West Indies as India claimed victory in the Twenty20 series decider in Mumbai by 67 runs.

The tourists had kept their hopes alive with an eight-wicket victory in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

However, the Windies' bowling attack had no answer at the Wankhede Stadium, India's big hitters delivering in emphatic fashion to seal the series.

Rohit (71) and Rahul (91) combined for a 135-run first-wicket partnership, the latter posting his third-highest score in T20 cricket, before Kohli carried India to 240-3 with an unbeaten 70.

West Indies wilted in reply, with Kieron Pollard's 68 in vain for a team that lost Evin Lewis to an injury suffered while fielding, the batsman taken off on a stretcher after hurting his knee.

Both India openers reached 50 in rapid fashion, Rohit doing so in 23 balls and Rahul in 29. Their remarkable start was ended in the 12th over when Rohit picked out Hayden Walsh in the deep. 

Rishabh Pant went for a duck as he failed to make the most of his promotion to number three, but captain Kohli struck seven sixes to help extinguish any hope of a fightback from the Windies bowlers.

He accounted for 64 of the 95 runs compiled in a third-wicket stand with Rahul, who was denied a third T20 international century when he was caught behind attempting to hook a Sheldon Cottrell bouncer.

The Windies promptly fell to 17-3 inside the first four overs of their innings, but Shimron Hetmyer steadied the ship with a knock of 41 that saw him clear the rope five times.

Hetmyer succumbed to Kuldeep Yadav in unfortunate fashion, hitting a full loss straight to long on, and the spinner also accounted for Jason Holder 10 balls later.

Pollard raised the slight possibility of a tense finish by hitting 32 runs in 10 balls, but when he diverted a Bhuvneshwar Kumar short ball to deep midwicket, the writing was on the wall.

Attention now turns to a three-match ODI series, which starts on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma bludgeoned an imperious half-century in his 100th Twenty20 International as India levelled the series against Bangladesh with a crushing eight-wicket victory in Rajkot.

Yuzvendra Chahal took 2-28 as the Tigers made 153-6 after they were put in by Rohit at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday, Mohammad Naim top scoring with 36.

Rohit then took centre stage, marking becoming only the second man to play a hundred internationals in the shortest format - Shoaib Malik being the other - with a domineering 85 off 43 balls.

The prolific stand-in captain struck six sixes in another magnificent knock and India cruised to their target with 26 balls to spare, blowing Bangladesh away in a match that was in doubt due to Cyclone Maha and set up a decider in Nagpur on Sunday.

Liton Das and Naim got the Tigers off to a good start, but an opening stand of 60 ended when Rishabh Pant ran the former out for 29 after he was given two lives.

Naim looked well set until he holed out attempting to launch Washington Sundar over the ropes, then Chahal put the brakes on by removing Mushfiqur Rahim and snaring Soumya Sarkar (30) stumped in an excellent 13th over.

Captain Mahmudullah struck a brisk 30, but Chahal and Deepak Chahar (1-25) restricted the tourists to a below-par total with skilful death bowling.

It soon became clear that was nowhere near enough as Rohit cut loose with exquisite timing and power, reaching his half-century off only 23 balls by clattering Afif Hossain's first ball for six.

Shikhar Dhawan was cramped up by the seamers, but looked more at home facing spin before he was bowled for 31 giving Aminul Islam the charge - ending a stand of 118 from only 65 balls.

Rohit continued to treat the Bangladesh attack with disdain, hitting Mosaddek Hossain for three sixes in a row and looking certain to make a fifth T20I hundred before he was taken in the deep trying to dispatch Aminul into the stands.

Shreyas Iyer (24 not out) struck the winning runs to put the Tigers out of their misery and ensure it is all to play for in the third and final match of the series.

George Linde said his first exposure to Test cricket with South Africa has "been lessons" and accepted it was just Rohit Sharma's day as India took complete control of the third contest.

Left-arm spinner Linde was drafted in for the third Test in Ranchi due to an injury to Keshav Maharaj and finished with four wickets as India declared on 497-9 on day two - South Africa finishing on 9-2 in reply by stumps.

Linde's figures took a bit of a hammering as India chased quick runs on another shortened day, but the 27-year-old – who finished with 4-133 – is content with his return against a star-studded India line-up.

"Yeah, it's been lessons. I didn't expect to play Test cricket, well in this series," Linde said. 

"I obviously didn't expect to come back to play the Test series. So when I got the call-up, I was quite nervous but luckily I had a few days to just settle and then today a few lessons to learn, especially there at the end. 

"But if you'd told me I'll take four wickets on my debut, I'll take it any time of the year."

Rohit was India's chief protagonist with a maiden double century in the five-day format as India turned the screw in search of a 3-0 series whitewash.

All of Linde's wickets came on day two and he almost accounted for Rohit in his over of Test cricket, but Zubayr Hamza put a tricky one down at short leg.

"You know those catches, they stick or they don't. Unfortunately it wasn't our day. It was Rohit's," Linde added. "He played well so, well done to him."

Rohit Sharma labelled his maiden Test double century as "probably the most challenging" innings he has played.

India took complete control of the third and final Test against South Africa on day two in Ranchi, with Rohit scoring 212 from 225 deliveries to help the hosts to 497-9 declared, the Proteas reaching stumps on 9-2 in reply.

Rohit, who had three double hundreds in ODIs but never in the five-day format, faced a nervy wait after lunch was called while he was on 199.

The 32-year-old, who has excelled at the top of the order having endured a stop-start Test career to date, then saw out a maiden over upon resumption before finally getting over the line with an excellent pull for six off Lungi Ngidi. 

Asked about his wait, Rohit said: "That's the nature of the game. You can't do anything about it. I wouldn't say it's frustrating. It's just the laws of the game. 

"The time [a session] has to finish, it has to finish on that time.

"From my side, I wasn't thinking about that at all. Because I knew the time will come and whenever it's supposed to happen, it will happen. I was just trying to be positive, think positive at that particular time. 

"I know it can be frustrating at times but there's nothing you can do about it. I just went back happy [at lunch], you know, 199 not out, I'd take that any day."

Rohit now has six centuries in Test cricket but conceded this was the toughest innings he has played.

"I haven't played much, I have played only 30 Test matches," he added. 

"Yes, in terms of what was thrown at me in this particular Test match, I would definitely say that it was probably the most challenging one."

India had stumbled to 39-3 on day one before Rohit was joined by Ajinkya Rahane, with the duo putting on an outstanding fourth-wicket stand of 267.

"We've seen Ajinkya for so many years, the way his Test career has progressed, and whenever the team has been in a difficult situation, he's come and rescued us," Rohit said. 

"This isn't something he's done just once or twice, he's done it in many innings. This shows how strong he is, mentally, and how much hunger he has, to be able to steer the team out of bad situations.

"We've seen it outside India, we've seen it in India as well, so Ajinkya's Test graph, it's climbing one step at a time, and there can't be anything better for the team, because if your middle order is strong, whatever situation comes, you're confident that one guy will always put his hand up and take the team forward."

Rohit Sharma completed his first Test double hundred and Ajinkya Rahane added a century of his own as India moved into complete control of the third Test in Ranchi.

Starting day two on 224-3, India piled on the runs to declare on 497-9 and then reduced South Africa to 9-2 before bad light prematurely halted Sunday's action.

Rohit rapidly progressed his overnight total of 117 and reached a double century for the first time in the longest form of the game, having previously done so three times in ODIs.

His total had reached 212 from 255 deliveries when he finally fell to Kagiso Rabada, while Rahane moved from 83 to complete his 11th Test hundred with an innings of 115.

Bad light meant only five overs of South Africa's reply were possible, but that was enough for India to put the tourists in complete disarray after openers Dean Elgar (0) and Quinton de Kock (4) were removed.

Captain Faf du Plessis (1 not out) and Zubayr Hamza (0no) will return to the crease on Monday with their side right up against it in their efforts to avoid a 3-0 series whitewash.

The fourth-wicket partnership between Rohit and Rahane had reached 267 before Rahane finally fell shortly before lunch, caught behind after some sharp turn earned George Linde his first Test wicket, the debutant then going on to claim figures of 4-133.

Rohit smashed 28 fours along with six maximums, one of which got him to his double ton after he went into lunch tantalisingly close on 199. His brilliant effort came to an end when he was caught at fine leg when trying to take on Rabada (3-85).

Ravindra Jadeja scored 51 and Umesh Yadav whacked five sixes in an explosive 31 from just 10 balls as useful partnerships right down the India order ensured the hosts were just shy of 500 before Virat Kohli opted to declare.

Mohammed Shami dismissed Elgar for a duck with only the second ball of the innings in a dreadful start for the Proteas.

De Kock followed in the next over when he was unable to cope with a short ball from Yadav, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha claiming his second catch as India piled on the pressure.

Batting coach Vikram Rathour says having an in-form Rohit Sharma at the top of the order changes the dynamic of the India side after he made another century on day one of the third Test against South Africa.

Rohit was unbeaten on 117 and Ajinkya Rahane 83 not out when stumps were drawn due to bad light, with India on 224-3 as they bid to secure a 3-0 whitewash after being reduced to 39-3 in Ranchi on Saturday.

The selectors promoted Rohit to open for the first time in the longest format in the series against the Proteas and the 32-year-old has grasped his opportunity, making three hundreds.

Rathour has been impressed with the application Rohit has shown following his promotion and always felt there should be a place for the dangerous right-hander in all three formats.

"He is such an experienced player I don't think you needed to do anything with his technique, the only adjustment I think he had to make was his game plans," said Rathour

"In Test cricket you need to play through those tough spells and I think he's doing that really well in this series.

"If he can keep doing that, once he's set, then he is a phenomenal player - we all know that - he can really punish you. He needed to make that mental adjustment to his game plans and he's done that well. 

"I always said he's too good a player not to be playing in any format, so I think it was a good call to get him to open and with the amount of runs scored of course, I think he has settled the issue for the time being.

"Somebody with his experience and the kind of cricket he plays, if he starts coming good for you at the top of the order that changes everything for the Indian dynamic - even when you are touring."

 

Rohit Sharma made his third century of the series and Ajinkya Rahane was also closing in on a hundred as India hit back after a poor start on day one of the third Test against South Africa in Ranchi.

Kagiso Rabada took two early wickets in a magnificent new-ball spell and India - who gave a debut to Shahbaz Nadeem - were 39-3 when Anrich Nortje removed Virat Kohli for 12.

That was as good as it got for a Proteas side that included five changes - with Heinrich Klaasen and George Linde handed Test bows - as an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 185 between Rohit (117 not out) and Rahane (83no) put India in control.

Rohit punished the Proteas attack with a combination of exquisite timing and power in his new role at the top of the order and Rahane played with great fluency in a classy knock.

India were 224-3 when bad light brought play to a premature end as they bid to secure a 3-0 whitewash.

Rabada (2-54) roared in to raise South Africa's spirits after their hammering in Pune last week, the in-form Mayank Agarwal (10) edging the paceman to Dean Elgar at third slip off the final ball of the fifth over.

Cheteshwar Pujara soon followed without scoring when he was struck on the back pad and given leg before wicket, with Rabada then denied a third wicket as Rohit overturned an lbw decision.

Nortje claimed the huge scalp of Kohli, who made a Test-best 254 not out last week, by getting one to nip back in and strike the skipper bang in front.

Rohit and Rahane saw India through to 71-3 at lunch and played with great freedom as the runs flowed in the afternoon session, Rabada twice taken for 13 in an over.

The aggressive Rohit and Rahane attacked Dane Piedt and the opener reached three figures for the sixth time in the longest format by disdainfully dispatching the spinner for one of four sixes in his imperious knock.

Rahane also lofted Piedt down the ground for six, while Linde bowled with reasonable control, but the breakthrough was not forthcoming and only 58 overs had been bowled when stumps were drawn under dark clouds.

Virat Kohli leapt to the defence of India team-mate Rohit Sharma, urging people to "give the guy a break" ahead of the second Test with South Africa.

Sharma hit consecutive centuries in the first meeting as India romped to a 203-run victory in the three-match series.

That fine display arrived at a time when his form in the longest format was coming under intense scrutiny, although he was the top run scorer at the Cricket World Cup. 

Captain Kohli now wants Rohit to be given the chance to enjoy his cricket in the Test arena once again.

"Come on, give the guy a break now," he said ahead of the second Test in Pune, which begins on Thursday. 

"You know he's done well, let him enjoy his batting, let him have fun like he does in white-ball cricket. Stop focusing on what's Rohit's going to do in Tests.

"I think he's in a great space, he's playing really well. He looked relaxed in the first game which is great to see.

"The experience he's accumulated over the years came to the fore."

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis saw his side concede the initiative on day one of the first Test, with India racking up 317 runs before losing a wicket.

The hosts went on to declare on 502-7, leaving South Africa with a mountain to climb and it was a summit they could not scale.

However, Du Plessis is confident his team will bounce back.

"Obviously, we didn't get 20 wickets in the previous match, that is something that we aware of and something that we are trying to fix," he said.

"At the end of the day, taking wickets wins you Test matches so our thinking will be trying to pick players that can influence the game and win matches for the team.

"We are a team that is very resilient and we come back almost always."

The tourists will need to overcome the considerable weight of recent history if they are to triumph overall, with India looking to extend their eight-series winning streak on home soil in Tests.

India have not lost a home Test series since 2012, when England prevailed. 

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."

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