India vs South Africa, highlights, 2nd Test Day 1: Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay hold steady as play called off due to bad light
India aim to ride the confidence of hard-fought drawn first Test at Johannesburg as South Africa will look to arrest their four-match losing streak at Durban. The Kingsmead Test will also see Proteas legend Jacques Kallis playing his last game in whites. See the match as it happened here.
20:20 (IST): That is it for the day. No chance of play possible so the curtains are drawn for the day. Play will start at 1 pm IST on the second day to make up for lost time. India are 181/1 in 61 overs with Murali Vijay on 91 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 58.
20:11 (IST): Less than an hour left on normal playing time in the day so it is interesting to see if there is an extension if there is reumption.
20:00 (IST): If Vjay gets his hundred, he will be the third Indian to get a Test ton on Boxing Day after Mohammad Azharuddin and Virender Sehwag.
19:52 (IST): Should Murali Vijay get his hundred, this will be his first century away from home and fourth overall.
19:37 (IST): The light seems to be improving slightly so there is hope of some play.
19:29 (IST): No signs of the players coming back on as yet.
19:08 (IST): The umpires have checked the light and decided to take the players off as conditions are not suitable for play to continue. India are 181/1 in 61 overs with Pujara on 58 and Vijay on 91.
18:53 (IST): It has been a low-scoring session so far for India with just 25 runs coming in 11 overs.
18:44 (IST): Steyn digging it in short in the hope of making the batsman fend one in the air. However, both Vijay and Pujara seem to be handling him comfortably as they have got used to the pace of the wicket.
18:40 (IST): The light is getting worse but it does not seem to affect Vijay as he smashes Peterson for two boundaries in three balls.
18:36 (IST): Steyn working up some serious pace as he bends his back and hits the deck hard. Pujara and Vijay are cotent to see him off as they look to build this partnership further.
18:30 (IST): Play resumes after lunch. Floodlights have come on and the conditions are extremely overcast. There is a possibility of rain later in the day. South Africa still searching for that elusive wicket.
18:20 (IST): This break gives South Africa time to regroup and plan their strategy for the final session. India will look to continue the good work done by their batsmen.
18:10 (IST): It is tea on the first day. India comfortably placed at 163/1 in 53 overs with Pujara on 55 and Vijay batting on 76. The pair have added 122 runs for the second wicket. Worrying signs for South Africa who need some early wickets in the final session.
18:05 (IST): Fourth Test fifty for Pujara. Things not looking good at all for South Africa as Graeme Smith is desperate to take a wicket. This partnership between Pujara and Vijay looking set to to bat South Africa out of the game.
18:00 (IST): It is beginning to get dark as the floodlights come on. The umpires having a look around but no sign of the players coming off with just 10 minutes to tea.
17:48 (IST): Pujara and Vijay are now playing for tea as just 20 minutes remain. India will look to finish the session without losing a single wicket.
17:40 (IST): A tight single by Vijay and Pujara dives in to save himself from being run out. The last thing India would want is to lose a wicket in such a fashion at this stage of the game.
17:30 (IST): The hundred run partnership comes up between Vijay and Pujara. Consecutive boundaries by Vijay off Philander show his intent of converting this start into a big score.
17:25 (IST): Spin introduced once again. Robin Peterson comes on as Graeme Smith would want to keep the runs down at one end and push for wickets at the other.
17:19 (IST): The wicket seems to have eased up as there is not much lateral movement. The ball is coming on to the bat easily and the batsmen are not being made to work hard for their strokes.
17:16 (IST): India go into the drinks break at 136/1. 60 runs have come in this session from 13 overs with no wickets lost. A good one so far for India as both Pujara and Vijay are settling down.
17:09 (IST): The last three Test series between these two teams have all ended in draws. South Africa drew 1-1 on their tours to India in 2008 and 2010 respectively, while India drew 1-1 when they came to South Africa in 2010-11. The last time these two teams played in Durban, India won the Test by 87 runs.
17:04 (IST): Vijay and Pujara looking comfortable at the crease as they deal with the pace of Morkel and Steyn with relative ease.
16:48 (IST) Murali Vijay reaches his fourth fifty and first vs the Proteas. Vijay chopped this one from Kallis wide of backward point for another four to bring up his half-century. India 121/1 after 34 overs.
16:45 (IST) After shouldering arms to five balls in the 33rd over, Vijay punishes the sixth one! A beautiful drive past the covers for four. Vijay moves to 49.
16:40 (IST) Both players batting with ease now, literally boundary an over since lunch. Just goes to show what a brilliant batting pitch this is. India would like to pile a huge first innings total. Ideally for India, both these players who are in, should make it count.
16:36 (IST) A flowing drive from Pujara fetches him four off Steyn through mid-on. It was overpitched from Steyn and Pujara made full use of it. India 108/1 after 31 overs.
16:29 (IST) Murali Vijay attacks Philander, hits back-to-back fours. First a brilliant push drive through mid-on, then a backfoot cover drive for four more. India 104/1 after 30 overs.
16:23 (IST) Steyn pitches it up and Pujara hits it between mid-wicket and square-leg for four. Pujara and Vijay bring up 50-run stand.
16:20 (IST) Almost got him, Pujara tried to on the leg side but it took a chunky part of the bat and lobbed inches in front of Morne Morkel, diving at mid-on. Three runs to Pujara. India 88/1
16:15 (IST) Pujara gets a four off Dale Steyn, beating Hashim Amla at square-leg. India 83/1 after 27 overs.
16:10 (IST) Players make their way out there in the middle for the second session. India will have to be careful of not losing a wicket after a break. India lost Shikhar Dhawan on the first ball after drinks break in the first session.
15:31 (IST) That's lunch and India are 76 for 1 after 26 overs. Murali Vijay on 33* and Cheteshwar Pujara on 13*. Morkel looked like picking a wicket almost every over but these two have negated the hosts since then with a 35-run unfinished stand. Not much spin on offer on the first morning here as Robin Peterson looked pedestrian against the equipped Indian batters.
15:26 (IST) Another excellent over from Morne Morkel, who once again is looking the most threatening of all the Proteas bowlers. India 71/1 after 25 overs.
15:21 (IST) Murali Vijay finds the thinnest of gaps through a short cover and cover and finds the boundary off Peterson. India 71/1 (24 overs)
15:16 (IST) The left-arm spinner bowls a long hop first up and Vijay takes full toll of it, dispatches it handsomely through mid-wicket. India 64/1 after 22 overs.
15:15 (IST) Spin for the first time and Robin Peterson is introduced in the attack.
15:10 (IST) Pujara gets his first four, an airy flick off Morkel. A safe shot in the end as no one was fielding at a run-saving position. India 60/1 after 21 overs.
15:05 (IST) Murali Vijay plays a gentle push drive and he gets full value for it, goes all along the carpet for four.
15:01 (IST) FACTOID: India won their last Test at this venue, beating South Africa by 87 runs in 2010.
14:56 (IST) The Melbourne Cricket Ground recorded over 90,000 spectators, a world record for Day 1 of a Test. Read more.
14:49 (IST) Murali Vijay flicks the next ball and it rockets away for four wide of backward square leg as India's fifty is raised. India 50/1 (15.2 overs)
14:48 (IST) Kallis' first ball and Pujara leans into a drive to a full ball and nicely times it for three runs.
14:46 (IST) King Kallis comes on to bowl now with loud cheers from the spectators. Kallis, who is playing his last Test, had got a standing ovation from the Kingsmead crowd at the start of play.
14:40 (IST) Pujara gets a short of length ball on the pads, it clears the short leg fieldsmen for a couple of runs.
14:37 (IST) WICKET! Dhawan is gone, caught at third slip by Alviro Petersen off Morne Morkel. Dhawan scored 29 from 49 balls with the help of 4 fours. India 41/1 after 13.1 overs.
14:31 (IST) India have certainly won the first hour of play - 41 for no loss after 13 overs. The change of ends seems to have worked well for Vernon Philander, who bowled just three overs in his first spell. Philander getting more balls to beat the bat from this end.
14:26 (IST) Darren Sammy took West Indies to a thrilling win in low-scoring 1st ODI vs New Zealand at Auckland. (Read scorecard)
14:22 (IST) FACTOID: Australian umpire Steve Davis, who is officiating in the Durban Test today, is now the 11th umpire to officiate in 50 or more Tests.
14:17 (IST) Dhawan brings up his fourth four - an overpitched ball from Morkel is driven through extra cover.
14:16 (IST) For those interested in all the action from the Ashes, here is our match report from Day 1 of the fourth Test at MCG.
14:12 (IST) FACTOID: Jacques Kallis has four hundreds at Durban, which he scored consecutively between 2002 and 2006.
14:08 (IST) Morne Morkel is introduced as early as 8th over. Morkel's participation for this game was under serious doubt after he twisted his ankle during the second innings at Jo'berg Test.
14:05 (IST) Four balls Murali Vijay drills Steyn down the ground for another four. Rahul Dravid praises the fast outfield at Kingsmead. India 33/0 after 7 overs.
14:02 (IST) Dhawan attacks Steyn, who bowls a wayward delivery outside off stump, a flourishing cover drive.
13:55 (IST) FACTOID: The first Test ever to begin on Boxing Day was way back in 1913 at Johannesburg when South Africa played England.
13:50 (IST) Philander strays on to the pads of Dhawan and the left-hander does not miss out. He flicks it hard through mid-wicket for four. India 21/0 after 4 overs.
13:42 (IST) Murali Vijay is away, plays a well controlled push drive down the ground off Steyn for four. India 15/0 (2.5 overs)
13:33 (IST) First four: Shikhar Dhawan punches one down the ground through straight mid-off for four off Dale Steyn.
13:27 (IST) The Kingsmead crowd gives a standing ovation to Jacques Kallis.
13:11 (IST) BIG NEWS: Morne Morkel is fit to play.
13:08 (IST) India skipper MS Dhoni wins the toss and elects to bat. R Ashwin is replaced by Ravindra Jadeja in Indian XI.
12:55 PM (IST) Shaun Pollock during weather and pitch report: "Durban weather is nice and hot. Players will like the conditions. The Kingsmead pitch will be drier than usual.
South Africa will seek to arrest a dismal Durban run of four straight defeats at Kingsmead when they host India in the second and final Test on Thursday, four days after their epic draw in Johannesburg. (Read: India have the advantage going into Durban Test, says Sunil Gavaskar)
The Kingsmead Test will also be Jacques Kallis' farewell Test match as the 38-year-old legend decided to say goodbye to the longest format of the game in a shock decision on Wednesday. (Read: Kallis wants to play 2015 World Cup)
The Proteas are at a loss to explain their miserable run at one of the country's premier Test grounds, where they have not won since beating West Indies in 2008. (Also read: De Villiers says booing in Johannesburg has upset Steyn)
Australia, England, India and Sri Lanka have all enjoyed handsome triumphs in Durban over the world's top ranked test team since then and vice-captain AB de Villiers cannot fathom the poor run.
De Villiers suggested it would be a good toss to win, with a lively pitch expected for the first part of the Test.
"I think there will be a bit of movement on the first day. Batting first always seemed the better option in the past.
"I don't expect as many cracks as there was at the Wanderers. It will probably be a bit more green, a bit firmer, and there may be a bit of turn towards the end of the Test." (Read full preview)
South Africa: Alviro Petersen, Graeme Smith(c), Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers(w), Faf du Plessis, Jean-Paul Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Rory Kleinveldt, Kyle Abbott, Dean Elgar, Robin Peterson, Thami Tsolekile
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ambati Rayudu, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Pragyan Ojha