Namaste! Hello! Welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of the opening day of the third Test between India and South Africa at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur on Wednesday. This is Suvajit Mustafi, and I shall be presenting the live updates of the match to you India are currently leading the four-Test series 1-0, following a decisive 108-run victory in the first match at Mohali, followed by a draw in a rain-marred contest in the second match at Bengaluru. India will look to seal the series in the upcoming fixture, which will be Virat Kohli’s second-consecutive Test series victory following his side’s 2-1 triumph in the tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year. South Africa, under the captaincy of Hashim Amla, have a major task in their hands, as they look to keep themselves alive in the series in order to prevent their nine-year undefeated overseas Test series record from coming to an end. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs South Africa 2015, 3rd Test at Nagpur

The Nagpur track has a reputation of being suitable for fast bowlers, with Dale Steyn wrecking the Indian batting lineup apart in the two-match Test series five years ago to setup a memorable innings victory here. Steyn, however, has been ruled out of the contest, which comes as a major blow for Amla’s men. However, don’t be surprised if the ball turns square from the Day One as India will look to make full use of home conditions.

However, India need to be wary of the Proteas, who still have a formidable pace lineup in Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada and Marchant de Lange. Not to mention, AB de Villiers has been in terrific form so far in the series, and will look to decimate the Indian bowling unit for good in the upcoming Test. PREVIEW: India vs South Africa 2015, 3rd Test at Nagpur


Live Cricket Score: South Africa 11/2 | Overs 9 | Trail by 204 runs | BATSMEN: Dean Elgar 7(30), Hashim Alma 0(5) | Jadeja to bowl the last over of the day. Three dot balls and then Elgar gets a single. Now Amla gets a edge but it doesn’t carry and survives the last ball. That’s STUMPS. End of Day One’s play.

Twelve wickets have fallen in the day and at the moment India have the upper hand. Read Pramod Ananth’s report here

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 9/2 | Overs 7 | Trail by 206 runs | BATSMEN: Dean Elgar 5(22), Hashim Alma 0 (1) | And Tahir is done with a straight one from Jadeja and is clean bowled. South African captain Hashim Amla makes his way out in the middle. They are in all sorts of office. OUT! Imran Tahir b Ravindra Jadeja 4 (12)

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 4/1 | Overs 3 | Trail by 211 runs | BATSMEN: Dean Elgar 4(12), Imran Tahir 0 (5) | Van Zyl departs! It’s Ashwin who strikes. Gets that to turn and bounce, van Zyl comes forward and edges that one to Rahane at first slip. Guess what? Imran Tahir walks out at No.3 as the nightwatchman.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 0/0 | Overs 1 | Trail by 215 runs |BATSMEN: Dean Elgar 0(6), Stiaan van Zyl 0(6) | Ishant Sharma to start the proceedings for India with the new ball. He hits the deck hard and bowls a maiden. Gets Elgar to edge one in the fourth ball and it falls just short of wicketkeeper Saha.

As expected, it’s Ashwin, who will partner Ishant with the new ball.


Live Cricket Score: India 215 | Overs 78.2| BATSMEN: Ishant Sharma 0(0)|  That’s a flat ball, Mishra stays back and is caught straight in the front of the stumps. Harmer picks up his fourth and India dismissed for 215. Is it enough? We guess so, considering the wicket and the Indian spin armoury. OUT! Amit Mishra lbw b Simon Harmer 3 (9)

Live Cricket Score: India 215/9 | Overs 78| BATSMEN: Amit Mishra 3(7), Ishant Sharma 0(0)|  Tahir’s googly does the trick. Goes through Ashwin’s bat and pad, cleaning him up. Tahir picks the crucial wicket and now it’s time for Ashwin to gear-up with the ball. OUT! Ravichandran Ashwin b Imran Tahir 15 (44)

Meanwhile…

Live Cricket Score: India 201/8 | Overs 73| BATSMEN: Ravichandran Ashwin 7(21), Amit Mishra 0(0)|  Another full toss from Harmer and Saha smacks it through covers for a boundary. Harmer has the last laugh, Saha gives it away after hours of concentration as he plays a casual flick to Duminy at mid-wicket. It’s a big wicket for South Africa but Saha has done a good job for his team. OUT! Wriddhiman Saha c JP Duminy b Simon Harmer 32 (106)

 

This is when Morkel injured himself

Live Cricket Score: India 190/7 | Overs 70| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 27(94), Ravichandran Ashwin 5 (15)|  Five dot balls, out of which one was a close appeal and then a full toss from Tahir and Saha smacks it for a four. Tahir hasn’t really made the help of the wicket count. Meanwhile, Morkel limps out of the ground and these are not good signs for South Africa. He may have pulled a hamstring. If that’s the case, it’s a big blow.

Live Cricket Score: India 184/7 | Overs 68| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 22(87), Ravichandran Ashwin 4 (10)| Ashwin caresses one through extra-cover for a three. India inching towards 200. It’s been a good solid resilient show from Saha. Ashwin can bat, no doubt and they should look to put up 250 at least.

Live Cricket Score: India 173/7 | Overs 64| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 19(73), Ravichandran Ashwin 0 (0)|  After doing all the hard work, Jadeja has given it away. Fullish length and Jadeja looks to play an ambitious drive, only to get cleaned-up by Rabada. A good partnership of 48 comes to an end. It’s a very good knock from Jadeja in context of the innings. OUT! Ravindra Jadeja b Kagiso Rabada 34 (54)

  Live Cricket Score: India 170/6 | Overs 62| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 17(70), Ravindra Jadeja 33(45)| Rabada replaces Morkel.  Jadeja and Saha have built a very good steady stand of 44. While Saha has been rock solid at one end, Jadeja has got the runs quickly.

Live Cricket Score: India 160/6 | Overs 58| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 14(55), Ravindra Jadeja 27(36)| It’s been two good overs for India in terms of scoring rate. These are important runs. While Saha swept Tahir in the mid-wicket region for a boundary in the 57th over, Jadeja smacked Morkel straight over his head for a four.

Live Cricket Score: India 149/6 | Overs 56| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 9(53), Ravindra Jadeja 21(26)| Morkel to start after Tea and he bowls a maiden over. Saha survives a few anxious moments.


Live Cricket Score: India 149/6 | Overs 55| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 9(47), Ravindra Jadeja 21(26)| Jadeja batting with a positive intent here. JP Duminy bowls the first over and Jadeja dismisses the fifth ball to the mid-wicket boundary for a four. There have been a few loose bowls in the middle. It’s TEA now with India struggling at 149 for 6. The session has clearly belonged to South Africa and in the final session they will look forward to bowl out the hosts. Read Pramod Ananth’s Tea report

Live Cricket Score: India 143/6 | Overs 53| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 8(39), Ravindra Jadeja 16(22)| Saha almost gives it away, gets an edge but wide of the short-leg fielder. Jadeja has looked positive and smacks the short-ball from Harmer to the mid-on boundary.

Live Cricket Score: India 136/6 | Overs 51| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 7(36), Ravindra Jadeja 10(13)| Harmer once again drops one short and Jadeja cuts it through cover region for another boundary. These are useful runs for India, who are looking to at least get to 200.

Live Cricket Score: India 126/6 | Overs 47| BATSMEN: Wriddhiman Saha 7(22), Ravindra Jadeja 1(3)| Rohit survives a run out in the first ball but gives it away soon. He’s out pad-pad as the ball loops to de Villiers. Gets a massive edge off the second ball and de Villiers gets a simple one. India in deep deep trouble now. Ravindra Jadeja walks out to the middle. OUT! Rohit Sharma c AB de Villiers b Simon Harmer 2 (28)

While Rohit and Saha fight it out in the middle, let’s have a look at the fall of big wickets of Pujara and Kohli.

 

Live Cricket Score: India 123/5 | Overs 45| BATSMEN: Rohit Sharma 2(21), Wriddhiman Saha 5(20)| It’s getting increasingly difficult for the Indian batsmen. Harmer is bowling more of a negative line here but getting the odd one to turn big. Only three have come off the last five overs.

Live Cricket Score: India 120/5 | Overs 40| BATSMEN: Rohit Sharma 0(7), Wriddhiman Saha 4(4)| And Morkel gets rewarded for some splendid bowling. He deserved the wicket of Kohli. The Proteas plan worked and Kohli, who hasn’t looked comfortable outside off-stump, played another one away from the body to get a feather edge to wicketkeeper Dane Vilas. So it’s Wriddhiman Saha out in the middle. He made his debut against the same opposition at the same venue in 2010. He then played as a batsman and co-incidentally he then played in place of his now batting partner Rohit Sharma. Rohit was all set for his Test debut then but he injured his foot just ahead of the game and Saha got his Test cap instead.  Saha gets a thick outside edge for a boundary off the last ball. OUT! Virat Kohli c Dane Vilas b Morne Morkel 22 (55)

Live Cricket Score: India 115/4 | Overs 38| BATSMEN: Virat Kohli 21(50), Rohit Sharma 0(4)| Rahane is living dangerously. Edges the first ball just short of Amla at the slips but doesn’t live long. Rahane tries driving away from the body. It wasn’t a pitched-up delivery and it was a wrong choice of shot. The ball darts in and cuts Rahane into half and uproots the off-stump. Bad shot but well set up by Morkel. He get rewarded for some real good bowling. It’s Rohit Sharma who makes his way out in the middle. He is playing his first Test of the series and looks dangerously. OUT! Ajinkya Rahane b Morne Morkel 13 (25)  

Live Cricket Score: India 114/3 | Overs 36| BATSMEN: Virat Kohli 21(49), Ajinkya Rahane 12(18)| It’s a good contest going on between Morkel and the Indian captain. Remember how James Anderson tested Kohli outside off-stump in England last year. Now Morkel seems to be doing the same and Proteas have done a good homework on him. After four dot balls, Kohli loses his patience and for a drive, manages an outside edge and gets a boundary through the gully region.

Live Cricket Score: India 103/3 | Overs 33| BATSMEN: Virat Kohli 13(39), Ajinkya Rahane 9(10)| It’s all happening at Jamtha. Harmer getting it to turn big while Rahane is out with counter-attack in his mind. Rahane beautifully times the second ball of the over for a six over long-on. The batsmen are living out dangerously. India need a steady partnership.

Live Cricket Score: India 96/3 | Overs 31| BATSMEN: Virat Kohli 13(32), Ajinkya Rahane 2 (5)| Harmer traps Pujara leg-before off the first ball of 31st over. The ball was slight short and was darting towards middle and leg. Pujara stays on the back foot and gets stuck in front. Anjinkya Rahane is the new man in. OUT! Cheteshwar Pujara lbw b Simon Harmer 21 (43)

Live Cricket Score: India 85/2 | Overs 28| BATSMEN: Cheteshwar Pujara 18(30), Virat Kohli 11(26)| So it’s Rabada who starts off the proceedings after lunch and it’s a maiden over. Harmer starts from the other end.


Live Cricket Score: India 85/2 | Overs 27| BATSMEN: Cheteshwar Pujara 18(30), Virat Kohli 11(26)| Elgar to bowl the last over before lunch. Three from it and it’s LUNCH. The first session was eventful. India lost both their openers but have managed to score at a decent rate. The wicket is turning square and once again it won’t be a surprise if the match ends well before five days.

Live Cricket Score: India 82/2 | Overs 26| BATSMEN: Cheteshwar Pujara 16(28), Virat Kohli 10(22)| Uncertain outside the off-stump, Morkel continues to ask questions to Kohli but the latter has now begun to look good. He times the fourth ball beautifully through the cover for his first boundary.   How the late swing from Morkel baffled the in-form Vijay

Live Cricket Score: India 70/2 | Overs 22| BATSMEN: Cheteshwar Pujara 14(21), Virat Kohli 1(4)| Morkel gets the big wicket of in-form Vijay. The batsman, who was earlier warned for running on the pitch, tried to play that on the leg-side, missed it right in the front. Kohli comes out in the middle. OUT! Murali Vijay lbw b Morne Morkel 40 (84)

Live Cricket Score: India 64/1 | Overs 18 | BATSMEN: Murali Vijay 36(72), Cheteshwar Pujara 13(13) | Imran Tahir has been brought into the attack in the 16th over and once again as the third spinner. Pujara is looking very confident as he smacks the first and last ball to the fence. The first was a rank bad full-toss which Pujara dismisses past square-leg and the last ball is a wrong-un but is too wide and the batsman cuts it for a four.

That’s the Vijay six from the 11th over

Live Cricket Score: India 50/1 | Overs 14 | BATSMEN: Murali Vijay 35(61), Cheteshwar Pujara 0(0) | First over after drinks and Elgar bowls. India continue to build on the good start. Dhawan-Vijay bring up their 50-partnership and for a change, it’s been Vijay the more dominant partner. Last ball of the over results in a needless wicket. Dhawan after getting a good start throws it away. Comes down the wicket, doesn’t connect it well and hits it straight back to the bowler. It’s Elgar once again! OUT! Shikhar Dhawan c & b Dean Elgar 12 (23)

Live Cricket Score: India 47/0 | Overs 11 | BATSMEN: Murali Vijay 33(46), Shikhar Dhawan 11(20) | Not even half way into the first session of the first day, the ball is turning square. Looks to play a big shot in the second ball but Vijay gets an inside edge towards fine-leg for two. Unlucky for South Africa. Vijay doesn’t back off, two balls later,he smacks this one over the long-on for a huge six.

Live Cricket Score: India 33/0 | Overs 8 | BATSMEN: Murali Vijay 22(32), Shikhar Dhawan 8(16) | Rabada goes for two boundaries off the last two balls. Vijay is looking in a sublime touch. Fifth ball, he whips it near square-leg for a four and the last ball of the over, he beautifully uses the ball’s pace cutting it through the empty gully region for another boundary. South Africa immediately introduces spin after this over and it’s Simon Harmer into the attack.

Live Cricket Score: India 17/0 | Overs 5 | BATSMEN: Murali Vijay 8(19), Shikhar Dhawan 8(11) | Vijay gets the second ball from Morkel past mid-on for a boundary. Very nice stroke. Both the batsmen looking solid.

Live Cricket Score: India 7/0 | Overs 3 | BATSMEN: Murali Vijay 2(15), Shikhar Dhawan 4(3) | Third ball of the third over, Vijay gets smacked on the elbow guard as he looks to duck the banged-in  short ball. That gives an indication that there isn’t enough bounce on the wicket. Last ball of the over, it’s Dhawan who angles the ball past the gully fielder for the first boundary of the game.

Live Cricket Score: India 1/0 | Overs 1 | BATSMEN: Murali Vijay 1(6), Shikhar Dhawan 0(0) | Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan walk out for bat and Morne Morkel starts off for South Africa. Morkel already is hitting the deck hard. In Dale Steyn’s absence, he has a lot of responsibility to shoulder. Gets the fifth ball to move away, beats Vijay and goes for a half-hearted appeal. Last ball is bowled on pads and Vijay flicks it for a single. Vijay gets off the mark in the venue where he made his Test debut in 2008. The match about to start and guess what? The entire VCA is screaming “AB AB”. Incredible, isn’t it? South Africa will hope AB de Villiers gets some support from the other batters this time.


Toss: India have won the toss and elected to bat. South African skipper Hashim Amla has lost three tosses in a row now. Virat Kohli says he wants to make first use of the wicket. Rohit Sharma comes in the side in place of Varun Aaron and Stuart Binny makes way for Amit Mishra. That means India go with only one pacer and that’s Ishant Sharma. From the South African camp, the bad news is no Dale Steyn. In the 2010 series, Steyn picked up a 10-wicket haul, helping SA go up 1-0.

Teams:

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

South Africa: Hashim Amla (c), Dane Vilas (wk), Stiaan van Zyl, Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Simon Harmer, Kagiso Rabada.

 

 

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.

Catch the live cricket scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary of India vs South Africa 3rd Test at Nagpur, Day 1