MOHALI: South Africa grabbed three wickets in the opening session of the first Test in Mohali on Thursday to leave India tottering at 82-3 after the hosts elected to bat.
Opener Murali Vijay was unbeaten on 40 and Ajinkya Rahane was on three when lunch was taken at the I.S. Bindra stadium after an eventful morning’s play.
South Africa grabbed the first wicket before a run had been scored when Shikhar Dhawan hung his bat out to a swinging ball from Vernon Philander and edged a catch to skipper Hashim Amla at first slip.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Vijay retrieved the situation with a 63-run partnership for the second wicket when Dean Elgar stepped up with the ball and, an over later, with a low catch to make it 65-3.
Elgar, an opening batsman and part-time left-arm spinner, trapped Pujara leg-before for 31 with his fourth delivery when he was summoned by Amla to bowl the 22nd over.
Four balls later, Elgar dived in the covers to remove Indian captain Virat Kohli, giving debutant fast bowler Kagiso Rabada his first Test wicket.
Kohli, celebrating his 27th birthday, made only one.
India went in with three spinners and two fast bowlers on a dry pitch that is expected to break up as the match progresses.
The Proteas were without the injured Morne Morkel for the first match in the four-Test series, allowing 20-year-old Rabada to make his debut.
Rabada joined Dale Steyn and Philander in a three-man pace attack, supported by two specialist spinners in leg-spinner Imran Tahir and off-break bowler Simon Harmer.