Namaste! Hello! Welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of the opening day of the fourth Test between India and South Africa at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Thursday. This is Suvajit Mustafi, and I shall be presenting the live updates of the match to you. India have already won the series after they beat South Africa by 124 runs at VCA, Nagpur. Despite Indian bowlers’ valiant efforts, the pitch took the limelight and drew a lot of criticism with even ICC terming it ‘poor’. Not really fair as Indian spinners deserve every bit of credit. All eyes are on the Delhi wicket now as South Africa will play there to salvage some pride while Virat Kohli’s India will look to make it 3-0. South Africa’s defeat meant an end to their glorious run. Since 2006, they hadn’t lost a Test series away from home but like all good things, this too came to an end.  The visitors have received a further blow as their strike bowler Dale Steyn will also miss the final Test. While India will look to continue haunting South Africa with spin, South Africa will hope for their world class batters to stand up. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs South Africa 2015, 4th Test at Feroz Shah Kotla


Bad light forces early stumps at Kotla and this is expected at Delhi during this time of the year. India have done a good job to lift themselves to 231 for 7, after being 139 for 6 at one stage. Yes, less than 10 wickets have fallen on Day 1! Ajinkya Rahane has saved the day for India with an unbeaten 89. This happens to be his first half century in India. India’s skipper Virat Kohli looked good before he fell for 44 and was unfortunate. For South Africa, the star has been off-spinner Dane Piedt, he picked up figures of 34-5-101-4. He could have ended the day with a fifer, had the Ashwin glove-pad decision gone his way or Amla had caught Rahane at slips. He looks promising and South Africa could have played him earlier. Abbott too has been brilliant today and ended the day 17-6-23-6. Read Pramod Ananth’s end of day’s report

Catch the live updates of Day Two

Live Cricket Score: India 231/7 | Over 84| Ajinkya Rahane 89(155), Ravichandran Ashwin 6(29)| Umpires check light and they have offered it to batsmen. So it’s stumps on Day 1. Rahane has played a very good knock. South African fielding hasn’t been top and Amla dropping Rahane may prove to be very costly.

Live Cricket Score: India 216/7 | Over 78| Ajinkya Rahane 78(139), Ravichandran Ashwin 2(9)| Piedt has been denied the chance for a fifer again. Amla once again drops a sitter at first slip. Rahane survives. How costly that might be?

It’s been a brilliant fifty from Rahane.

Live Cricket Score: India 211/7 | Over 76| Ajinkya Rahane 73(127), Ravichandran Ashwin 2(9)| Rahane is batting well and he was helped by a couple of full tosses from Imran Tahir. It’s important for Ashwin to lend him some valuable support. India will be looking for 250 at least on this wicket. Ashwin gets a life off the third ball. Huge appeal for a catch at short-leg, Ashwin for sure had gloved that one. Should have been the fifth wicket for Piedt.

Meanwhile, the light has deteriorated and the floodlights have come into effect. 

Live Cricket Score: India 198/7 | Over 73| Ajinkya Rahane 62(116), Ravichandran Ashwin 0(2)| That’s a brilliant catch by Elgar and Jadeja has to go. Jadeja clips that down the leg-stump and Elgar takes an excellent diving catch. OUT! Ravindra Jadeja c Dean Elgar b Kyle Abbott 24 (59)

Live Cricket Score: India 194/6 | Over 70| Ajinkya Rahane 61(109), Ravindra Jadeja 21(50)| Jadeja moves back and slaps one through the cover region for a boundary. Rahane and Jadeja bring up their fifty partnership. The partnership has bailed India out of deep troubles but more runs needed here.

Live Cricket Score: India 177/6 | Over 67| Ajinkya Rahane 54(101), Ravindra Jadeja 11(40)| Rahane is batting well. In Piedt’s previous over he struck a six and four to bring up his first half-century in India.

Live Cricket Score: India 163/6 | Over 64| Ajinkya Rahane 41(86), Ravindra Jadeja 10(38)| JP Duminy completes his second over. Jadeja smacks one past the bowler for four. A nice little partnership is building here. This is surely a better track than Mohali and Delhi, and India will look for 250 at least Wasn’t Kohli batting beautifully today?

Live Cricket Score: India 150/6 | Over 60| Ajinkya Rahane 40(78), Ravindra Jadeja 2(21)| Rahane drives the third ball from Morkel beautifully through mid-on region for a boundary. 150 is up for India.

Live Cricket Score: India 141/6 | Over 55| Ajinkya Rahane 32(65), Ravindra Jadeja 1(4)| Jadeja gets off the mark with a single. India need a big partnership here. It’s been pretty ordinary batting by them so far. Morkel has been brought into the attack and don’t be surprised if he targets Jadeja with some short-pitched bowling.


This session has completely belonged to South Africa as five Indian wickets fell. While other wickets were earned, Kohli was unlucky and Rohit Sharma just gave it away. Piedt has been rewarded for his intelligent bowling and picked four wickets. Abbott too has bowled brilliantly. Read Pramod Ananth’s Tea report. Here’s how Rohit his wicket away despite of the respite.

Live Cricket Score: India 139/6 | Over 53.5| Ajinkya Rahane 31(62)| Just at the stroke of Tea, Saha departs. It’s been a tremendous spell of bowling from Abbott and he deserved this wicket. Pitched on good length, the ball comes in and Saha plays away from his body and gets an inside edge as the ball crashes onto the stumps. OUT! Wriddhiman Saha b Kyle Abbott 1 (15)

Live Cricket Score: India 138/5 | Over 51| Ajinkya Rahane 31(56), Wriddhiman Saha 1(4)| After getting dropped in the previous over, Rohit gives it away. Looks to smack Piedt over mid-wicket but doesn’t connect it well and is caught at mid-wicket by Imran Tahir. What a waste of opportunity! Rohit departs and that’s four wickets for Piedt. OUT! Rohit Sharma c Imran Tahir b Dane Piedt 1 (6)

Live Cricket Score: India 138/4 | Over 50| Ajinkya Rahane 31(55), Rohit Sharma 1(5)| After 50 overs, India are 138 for four. After Kohli’s wicket, India have dropped the anchor. Fifth ball of the over and Amla drops a sitter at first slip. You can’t get them easier than those. Rohit Sharma has been dropped for a duck and it has been that kind of a day for Abbott.

Live Cricket Score: India 136/4 | Over 47| Ajinkya Rahane 30(42), Rohit Sharma 0(0)| That’s driven beautifully by Kohli for a boundary. A big one is around the corner for the Indian captain at his home ground. Well, will he? Kohli sweeps the last ball and it hits the short-leg fielder Temba Bavuma on his thigh and lobbed up and wicketkeeper Dane Vilas dives to take a good catch. A good knock from Kohli comes to an end. Tough luck. Vilas deserves all the applause that comes his way. Good presence of mind. OUT! Virat Kohli c Dane Vilas b Dane Piedt 44 (62)

Live Cricket Score: India 123/3 | Over 43| Virat Kohli 35(49), Ajinkya Rahane 26(31)| Four runs come from the Elgar over and that’s fifty partnership for Rahane and Kohli. In this over from Piedt, Kohli smacks one through the cover for another boundary. He’s looking good.

Live Cricket Score: India 114/3 | Over 41| Virat Kohli 29(40), Ajinkya Rahane 23(28)| Rahane cuts away the second ball to the point boundary. Kohli and Rahane are looking solid and positive at the same time. They have added 48 runs from just 11 overs. It’s DRINKS BREAK. Dean Elgar has been brought into the attack post drinks

Live Cricket Score: India 105/3 | Over 39| Virat Kohli 25(32), Ajinkya Rahane 18(24)| Rahane whips the full-toss from Tahir to the square-leg boundary and that’s 100 up for India. India bring up their 100. Good positive few overs for India.

Live Cricket Score: India 87/3 | Over 34| Virat Kohli 17(15), Ajinkya Rahane 8(11)| Despite the two quick wickets, India are getting the runs quickly. Captain Virat Kohli has come out to bat at his home ground with a positive intent. Scores two boundaries in the Morkel over. Flicks one off the hips towards fine-leg for four and the fifth ball, Kohli looks to guide it to third-man, takes his out-edge and races to a boundary. Here are the two wickets post lunch:

Live Cricket Score: India 66/3 | Over 30| Virat Kohli 4(2), Ajinkya Rahane 0(0)| Another wicket falls and it’s a big one. Abbott gets Pujara. Draws him forward as the ball comes in sharply, just takes a light inside edge and thuds onto the stumps. India are in serious trouble. OUT! Cheteshwar Pujara b Kyle Abbott 14 (37)

Live Cricket Score: India 62/2 | Over 29| Cheteshwar Pujara 14(32), Virat Kohli 1(1)| Piedt has been rewarded for his good bowling. Draws Dhawan forward as the ball doesn’t turn but drifts in and hits his pad. That looks out and has been rightly given so. Piedt has looked really good. Wonder where was he? He set up Dhawan well with a couple of balls turning sharply and then a straight one. OUT! Shikhar Dhawan lbw b Dane Piedt 33 (85)

Live Cricket Score: India 62/1 | Over 28| Shikhar Dhawan 33(80), Cheteshwar Pujara 14(32)| Two overs after lunch and India are moving along nicely. South Africa are trying to mix it up to Dhawan hoping he will edge one to the slip.


The highlight from the first session has to be Sehwag’s interview with Harsha Bhogle. While the teams have their lunch, you can enjoy this gem:

The only wicket to fall this session was of Murali Vijay and he did struggle before this.

Live Cricket Score: India 60/1 | Over 26| Shikhar Dhawan 31(71), Cheteshwar Pujara 14(29)| That’s LUNCH on Day 1. cautious start from India. However there were two good shots in the last two overs. An exquisite late-cut from Dhawan in the over before lunch gets him a boundary and Pujara then dismisses an Imran Tahir full-toss to the mid-wicket stands. It hasn’t been easy for India but they won’t be too disappointed with their efforts. Read: Pramod Ananth’s lunch report here.  

Live Cricket Score: India 43/1 | Over 22| Shikhar Dhawan 26(61), Cheteshwar Pujara 2(15)| It’s good bowling from Morkel. Some real well directed bouncers. It hasn’t been an easy outing for India but they are hanging in there. Dhawan is well set and must go on to score a big one. It hasn’t been the best two months for him.

Live Cricket Score: India 32/1 | Over 17| Shikhar Dhawan 17(43), Cheteshwar Pujara 1(2)| Vijay was living dangerously and not looking comfortable at all. In the last over, the ball came back sharply and hit him on the elbow. He was struggling big time and now he finally departs. Off-spinner Dane Piedt gets the wicket. The ball drifted away and Vijay looking for a drive edges it Amla at slips. Piedt has benefitted from some real good bowling from Abbott. OUT! Murali Vijay c Hashim Amla b Dane Piedt 12 (59)

Live Cricket Score: India 26/0 | Over 14| Murali Vijay 10(51), Shikhar Dhawan 15(34)| Dhawan plays a lovely shot off the first ball. It was a defensive push through the cover region for a boundary. Dhawan is playing his shots and looking good. The decision of ‘no-ball’ could have gone either way but in the end umpire Nandan got it right.

Live Cricket Score: India 16/0 | Over 12| Murali Vijay 10(46), Shikhar Dhawan 5(27)| Murali Vijay nicks the third ball to the second slip. Good bowling from Kyle Abbott and he has been rewarded. Oh wait! Vijay has been asked to wait. The ‘no-ball’ rule says that some part of the boot has to be behind the line. It’s marginal. Third umpire CK Nandan, after watching numerous replays rules it in favour of Vijay. Respite for India as Vijay stays. Wonderful to hear Virender Sehwag talking. Always straight from the heart. Considered to be a limited-overs cricketer when he started, he now holds the top 3 highest scores by an Indian in Test cricket. He says he regrets scoring 400.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Cricket Score: India 11/0 | Over 7| Murali Vijay 10(23), Shikhar Dhawan 1(19)| There seems to be a bit uneven bounce, the second ball of the sixth over from Kyle Abbott bounced a bit low as it went past Vijay’s bat. India have been watchful so far and there have been quite a few play and misses. Morkel has bowled at a very good line. Two champions in one frame. What a sight for a cricket fan!


Live Cricket Score: India 2/0 | Over 3| Murali Vijay 2(12), Shikhar Dhawan 0(6)| And here are first runs of the day for India. Second ball of the over and Vijay places a pitched-up ball though the vacant cover region for two runs.

Live Cricket Score: India 0/0 | Over 1| Murali Vijay 0(6), Shikhar Dhawan 0(0)| Morne Morkel with the new ball starts the proceedings for South Africa and it’s Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan for India. There are “Dhawan Dhawan” cheers, why not? He is the local boy. Morkel knows quite a lot about Kotla as he has played for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

Morkel beats Vijay with a beauty outside off-stump. Bowls a maiden. Seems the track is a decent one for pacers. Let’s see how it holds on. Sourav Ganguly in his TOI column said due to the cold weather in Delhi, the pitch might not wear out like Mohali or Delhi.


Great to see Virender Sehwag getting felicitated by the BCCI ahead of the game. Not sure if BCCI got the timing right. Early morning at Delhi and that too before a Test. Meanwhile the players get out in the middle. Shaun Pollock calls it a “standard Indian pitch.” Well, that means there are plenty of runs in it. We will wait and see.

 

Teams:

India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane,Rohit Sharma, Saha(wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

South Africa: Hashim Amla (c), Temba Bavuma, Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Dane Vilas(wk), Dane Piedt, Kyle Abbott, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel.

TOSS: India win toss and elect to bat first. Both India and South Africa have made a few changes in their side. Umesh Yadav replaces Amit Mishra in the Indian side. South Africa have dropped Kagiso Rabada, Stiaan Van Zyl and Simon Harmer and have replaced them with Temba Bavuma, Kyle Abbott and Dane Piedt respectively.


Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), KL Rahul, Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma, Gurkeerat Singh.

South Africa: Hashim Amla (c), AB de Villiers, Temba Bavuma, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Simon Harmer, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas (wk), Marchant de Lange.

LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs South Africa 2015, 4th Test at Feroz Shah Kotla