Cheteshwar Pujara after day's play: "Partnership with Virat Kohli was very crucial for us. Kohli batted really well today. Sometimes miscommunication happens in cricket. I am really happy with the way our team batted today. I think if we can add another 150 runs or so, we'll give ourselves a good chance of building pressure on South Africa."
21:30 (IST) No harm done as India end Day 1 at 255 for 5, Dhoni is 17* and Ajinkya Rahane has looked solid in his 47 not out. The day belonged to Virat Kohli who came up with a career-best effort - 119 from 181 balls. Morne Morkel was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts with figures of 19-10-27-1. Steyn, Philander and Kallis were the other wicket-takers.
21:25 (IST) Dhoni and Rahane seem to have put the shutters down and are aiming to take India with only 5 wickets down at stumps. India 255/5 after 88 overs. Two overs to go.
21:20 (IST) As Dhoni and Rahane look to play through the day, here is Virat Kohli's coach Rajkumar Sharma saying the right-hander promised him that he'll score a century in South Africa.
21:15 (IST) Rahane with the cover drive and gets a four off Dale Steyn. The light has faded quite a bit, 15 minutes left in day's play. India 251/5 (85 overs).
21:11 (IST) Dhoni gets an edge and it flies over the third slip for four down toward third man fence. India 247/5 (84 overs).
21:05 (IST) Rahane hammers Steyn through the vacant covers region and it's a four. Next ball, Steyn gives it his all but the ball bounces over the keeper to the boundary. India 243/5 (83 overs)
20:59 (IST) Rahane punches Philander through extra cover and almost gets a four, JP Duminy does well to intervene and Rahane takes three. India 234/5 (82 overs).
20:53 (IST) Dhoni drives Steyn between point and extra cover for another four. India 231/5 (81 overs)
20:49 (IST) South Africa take the second new-ball. Dale Steyn will make first use. Rahane 31*, Dhoni 6*. India 227/5 (80 overs)
20:43 (IST) Dhoni gives it a whack! Morne Morkel bowls it short outside off and Dhoni hammers it through covers. India 224/5 (78.3 overs)
20:35 (IST) Dhoni walks out to bat with Ajinkya Rahane for company. This is a crucial passage of play leading up to the second new-ball which will be in due in 3 overs. India 219/5 after 77 overs.
20:27 (IST) Virat Kohli falls against the run of play, caught by JP Duminy at extra cover off Jacques Kallis. Kohli made career-best 119 (181 balls) with the help of 18 fours. A disappointed Kohli goes on his haunches and then starts taking the long walk back to the pavilion.
20:19 (IST) Kohli and Rahane have batted well so far, adding 62 runs in 20 overs. The two have scored 59 runs since tea.
20:13 (IST) Imran Tahir back for another spell and after two dot balls, he bowls a full toss which is dispatched by Kohli to the fence at mid-wicket. India 213/4 (73 overs).
20:07 (IST) Excellent over for India as Kohli, Rahane take the attack to JP Duminy. First, Kohli rocks back and thumps him over mid-wicket for 4. Two balls later, Rahane makes space for a pull and hits it between backward square leg and deep mid-wicket for four. Total of 12 runs came from that over, India 207/4 after 71 overs.
19:55 (IST) Not the best of news for South Africa at the moment - Dale Steyn is walking off the ground after having some consultation with the team physio. What the niggle is, it's still unclear. India 195/4.
19:47 (IST) Morne Morkel tucks Ajinkya Rahane up and the right hander plays it a little uppishly, falls short of Faf du Plessis at backward short-leg. India 187/4 (66 overs).
19:42 (IST) So Virat Kohli's No.4 quest starts on a high, read more.
19:36 (IST) Kohli reaches a hundred, his 5th in Test cricket and 1st ton against South Africa. India 183/4 (63 overs). Kohli reached the milestone after flicking Duminy towards mid-wicket and picked up two. A superb 140-ball effort laced with 16 hits to the fence. Rahane giving him steady support with 15*.
19:25 (IST) Back-to-back maidens as Morkel and Steyn are trying to keep the runs down. India 173/4 (60 overs).
19:18 (IST) Morne Morkel replaces Philander. Morkel has been South Africa's best bowler today - 11-5-18-1.
19:12 (IST) Kohli places it beautifully, between point and cover to get four and inch closer to a hundred. India 170/4 (57.1 overs)
19:05 (IST) Philander starts off the final session with a maiden. India 164/4 after 56 overs.
19:00 (IST) Players take their positions. Philander readies to bowl to Virat Kohli.
18:42 (IST) India go into tea at 164 for 4 after 55 overs. Kohli going great guns at 84 not out and giving him company is Ajinkya Rahane, who has hit three crisp fours in his brief stay at the crease. India, would have done well to not lose that wicket of Rohit just before tea. India scored 94 runs for the loss of two wickets in the second session.
18:37 (IST) WICKET: Rohit Sharma is gone, out fishing outside the off stump. He plays away from the body and gets a faint edge, caught behind by De Villiers. Rohit made 14. India 151/4 (53.2 overs)
18:30 (IST) Imran Tahir comes into attack and both Rohit and Kohli play him in a circumspect way.
18:24 (IST) Another beautiful stroke from Kohli, yields him 3 runs this time. A straight ball from Kallis and Kohli flicks it through mid-wicket. India 148/3 (51 overs)
18:18 (IST) Kohli in punishing mood here, Kallis digs this one short and Kohli pulls it hard wide of mid-wicket for four.
18:16 (IST) Free runs for India, 5 wides, as Kallis puts in that extra effort and it bounces wide over the batsman, eluding the keeper to the boundary.
18:08 (IST) Kohli comes out with the straight drive and it's a photographer's delight. Kohli shows the full face of the bat to Kallis and it rolls away for four. India 128/3 (47 overs).
18:02 (IST) Brilliant batting by Kohli, who leans into a drive off Steyn and drills him past extra cover for four. India 124/3 after 46 overs.
17:55 (IST) Overthrows and four extra runs for Rohit Sharma. India 119/3 (44.1 overs)
17:47 (IST) WICKET: Pujara's knock ends in a run out. Kohli pushed it towards the on side and took off for a single only to stop in the middle and send Pujara back. Unfortunately Pujara had past half-way mark and was too late for him to come back, easy job for Imran Tahir at the non-striker's end. India 113/3 after 43 overs.
17:41 (IST) India have negotiated the first hour of the second session quite well, scoring 37 runs in 15 overs. Kohli and Pujara have added 83 runs for the third wicket. India 107/2 (42 overs)
17:35 (IST) Imran Tahir overpitches it this time and Kohli leans into a free-flowing drive, threading the gap between cover and extra cover for four. India 107/2 after 41 overs.
17:31 (IST) Virat Kohli gets to well-deserved half-century, his 8th in Test cricket. Kohli gets a shortish ball from Imran Tahir and he hammers it for four down towards mid-wicket. India 97/2 after 39 overs.
17:23 (IST) Kohli plays out a maiden to Vernon Philander. India 92/2 after 37 overs.
17:17 (IST) Another gem from Kohli, short of length outside off stump and he cuts it square in front of cover point. India 90/2 (35.2 overs)
17:13 (IST) FACTOID: India has played Tests at six venues in South Africa: Wanderers, Johannesburg is the only venue India hasn't lost a Test and have won one!
17:10 (IST) Punished with utter disdain by Kohli, Steyn bowls it short and Kohli has full control over it, hammers it through square-leg fence for four. India 84/2 (34 overs)
17:05 (IST) Philander bowls a loose one outside off and Kohli dispatches it through the covers for four. India 79 for 2 after 33 overs.
17:00 (IST) Despite the two best teams in the world in action at the Wanderers, the crowd turnout today is very poor. Perhaps, due to it being a weekday morning. More spectators are expected during the final session.
16:52 (IST) Fifty of the partnership is up between Kohli and Pujara. India 74/2 after 30 overs.
16:45 (IST) Pujara flicks Steyn neatly past square leg for a couple. Partnership between him and Kohli is now 48, from 12.5 overs. India 72/2 after 28 overs.
16:37 (IST) Players making their way out in the middle for the second session. Steyn to start bowling proceedings in post-lunch session, Cheteshwar Pujara to face.
16:00 (IST) India go into lunch at 70 for 2 (27 overs) after the Virat Kohli hits two fours in Imran Tahir's first over. Kohli now gaining in confidence with a run-a-ball 32. Pujara unbeaten on a stoic 18 from 61 balls.
15:56 (IST) For a change, Dale Steyn drifts down the leg side and Kohli gets a neat tickle past fine-leg for four. India 60/2 (26 overs)
15:51 (IST) Former India skipper and legendary left-arm spinner Bishan Singh Bedi says it is too early to pass any kind of judgement on the young Indian players. Read more.
15:47 (IST) Morne Morkel ends his first spell with impressive figures of 6-4-6-1. Meanwhile, Kohli and Pujara have taken India past fifty. India 51/2 (24 overs)
15:42 (IST) Philander to Pujara and it's a four. Pujara goes hard at it and clears it over the slips to get a four. India 49/2 after 23 overs.
15:37 (IST) Another lucky break for Kohli on the next delivery. Morkel bowls it outside off in the corridor of uncertainty and Kohli gets an inside edge, lucky it didn't go onto stumps. India 42/2 (22 overs)
15:36 (IST) Kohli caught in two minds, whether to leave or hit it, finally manages to get it over the slips and will get a lucky four.
15:33 (IST) First four for Cheteshwar Pujara, Philander drops it a touch short and the right hander creates room and punches it past the covers for a boundary. India 36/2 (20.3 overs)
15:25 (IST) Kohli gets off the mark in a brilliant fashion, nicely rolling his wrists on top of that short of length ball from Kallis and dispatching it behind square for a boundary. India 32/2 (18.5 overs).
15:20 (IST) FACTOID: India's last 50-plus stand for the opening wicket in an away Test was at Lord's 2011 - 63 between Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund.
15:15 (IST) Virat Kohli walks out to bat at that No.4 spot, the coveted batting position of Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli has no problems in negotiating Morkel, who is bowling at well over 140 kmph.
15:11 (IST) WICKET: Morne Morkel gets his man, Murali Vijay plays away from the body, hanging his bat and gets an edge, regulation take for AB de Villiers. Vijay made 6 from 42 balls. India 24/2 after 15.1 overs.
15:05 (IST) Catch dropped! Hashim Amla drops Murali Vijay at short leg. Vijay fends a short one from Morkel, ball takes the shoulder of the bat and pops up in front of square where Amla does well to reach it only to spill the catch. India 24/1 after 14 overs.
14:59 (IST) TRIVIA: India's average opening stand in overseas Tests since January 2011 is 15.96 (25 innings). Interestingly, the average opening stand in home Tests in the same period is 58.45 (24 innings).
14:55 (IST) Double bowling change, Jacques Kallis replaces Dale Steyn. Murali Vijay 6* Pujara 3*. India 22/1 after 12 overs.
14:50 (IST) South Africa make the first bowling change, Morne Morkel into attack, replacing Vernon Philander in the 12th over.
14:47 (IST) For all the latest from Australia's series win over England after Perth Test, check out our Ashes page.
14:43 (IST) Cheteshwar Pujara gets off the mark, thanks to a single wide of mid-wicket. India 20/1 after 10 overs.
14:40 (IST) WICKET: Shikhar Dhawan is gone, a repeat of the mistimed pull few balls earlier, Imran Tahir takes the catch at fine leg and Dale Steyn draws first blood. India 17/1 after 9 overs.
14:36 (IST) For all the stats freak, here are the approaching milestones leading up to the Johannesburg Test.
14:32 (IST) Good news for India is that the openers have survived the first half hour of play. India 13/0 (8 overs)
14:24 (IST) First four for Shikhar Dhawan, who flicks Philander towards square-leg and the ball goes all along the carpet to the fence. India 12/0 (6 overs)
14:19 (IST) Good attacking bowling from Steyn, who gets one to rise and Dhawan could only fend it, lucky for the left-hander there was no short-leg. India 8/0 after 5 overs.
14:13 (IST) Sensible batting by Dhawan here, tapping it to covers and stealing a single. His partner, Vijay, is quick to respond. India 6/0 after 3 overs.
14:08 (IST) Length ball to start off with from Vernon Philander and Shikhar Dhawan is off the mark on his first ball. India 5/0 (2 overs)
14:04 (IST) First runs for India and its a four. Murali Vijay pushes it straight past mid-on for the first boundary of the day. India 4/0 after 1 over.
13:56 (IST) Players make their way into the middle. Dale Steyn, as usual, will start off proceedings. Murali Vijay to take strike.
13:49 (IST) Playing XIs:
South Africa: Graeme Smith (c), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (w), Faf du Plessis, Jean-Paul Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.
India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma.
13.40 (IST): FACTOID: Dhoni becomes the first Indian skipper to lead the team in 50 Tests. He is also the second in the list of most Tests as captains from the sub-continent behind Sri Lanka's Arjuna Ranatunga (56 Tests).
13.38 (IST): A lot of eyes (and pressure) will be on Murali Vijay. With Rohit Sharma easing into the Test side with good performances against the West Indies while playing in the middle-order, Vijay will be aware of the fact that a few failures could prompt Dhoni to try Rohit at the top of the order.
13.36 (IST): Dhoni, captaining his 50th Test, has started well by winning the toss. It's a bold decision to bat first, knowing how the wicket is conducive to the South African pace attack. As always, the first hour will be crucial. India will be happy if they get away without the loss of a wicket.
Graeme Smith: "We would've batted first as well. Hope that wicket has something in it for us. It looks a bit drier than normal, the juice on it should help us. We have got to lay down a marker. Hashim Amla is an outstanding cricketer, he has been a rock for us at number 3, it is good to have him back. We have a lot of respect for the game, we respect India and lot of good cricket to be played over the next 10 days."
13.35 (IST): The BIG news is that Zaheer Khan has been picked. He comes in, in place of Umesh Yadav. As suggested by Sunil Gavaskar on the eve of the game, India have also gone in with Ajinkya Rahane as an extra batsman.
MS Dhoni at toss: "The wicket looks a bit different from the one we saw a couple of days back. It is important to bowl in the right areas early on and give yourself sometime in the middle - that's our gameplan. Zaheer is definitely playing. Rahane will bat at 6 and the players who are missing out are Bhuvneshwar, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav and Wriddhiman Saha."
13.31 (IST): Toss: Mahendra Singh Dhoni wins the toss and elects to bat first.
13.22 (IST): Zaheer Khan: Coming from the sub-continent, its always good to play on such bouncy tracks. The morale in the team is good. Looking forward to a good game.
The thrashing in ODI behind them, India will be aiming to start the post-Sachin Tendulkar era in Test cricket on a positive note but the task looks daunting as they prepare to go up against South Africa in the two-match series starting in Johannesburg today.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said that his young team has accepted the fact that the iconic Sachin Tendulkar is no longer available and they will have to "move on" and concentrate on the job at hand. "With the last Test match we played in India, it is 100 percent sure that Sachin won't be available for any more international series. It was always good to have him, but now that he won't be there, we have to concentrate on what he have in our hands. We have accepted that fact and moved on," Dhoni said. (Read more)
The two-match series will be India's first overseas Test assignment in nearly two years since their tour Down Under in 2011-12 where they suffered a 0-4 drubbing. In 12 Tests at home thereafter, India won nine, lost two and drew one, winning series' against New Zealand, Australia and West Indies, losing to England. The long home season has also witnessed the retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, once considered the backbone of the Indian middle-order. The period has also seen the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh being sidelined due to poor performances.
This is the first time since November 1996, that all four batting stalwarts from the last two decades, Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly will be missing from the Indian line-up.
Zaheer Khan's return to the fold adds much-needed strength to the India bowling attack that failed to capitalise on the friendly conditions in the ODI series. His knack of getting the better of Greame Smith (six dismissals in nine matches)comes as a bonus for the Indian team. Zaheer Khan (295 wickets) requires five more to become fourth Indian bowler to capture 300-plus wickets. (Click here for more stats)
South African captain Graeme Smith has warned that India's inexperienced batsmen will face a tough challenge from South Africa's fast bowlers in the two-match series. "Obviously they're hugely talented but it's a very different line-up to the one I've become accustomed to playing against," said Smith. (Read more)
SOUTH AFRICA: Graeme Smith (captain), AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile (wicketkeeper).
INDIA: MS Dhoni (captain & wicketkeeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper).