India’s gamble of bumping up Rohit Sharma seems to have paid off as duo of Rohit and Mayank Agarwal flattened the South African bowling attack on day one of the 1st Test at Vizag, with a massive stand, that at the time of writing has gone past the 200-run mark. Early tea was taken due to overcast conditions and bad light on day one with India on 202/0 in 59.1 overs.

Rohit is batting on 115, Mayank is on 84.

This double hundred partnership is the first for India for the opening stand since June 2015. The last big partnership had come from the bats of Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay (283) against Bangladesh at Fatullah.

During the course of the partnership, Rohit notched up his 4th Test hundred, becoming only the fourth Indian player to score a 100 on his first match as an opener after Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Prithvi Shaw. Mayank Agarwal also registered his fourth Test fifty and setting himself for a maiden hundred.

Rohit and Mayank had little trouble on a lifeless Vizag track as the they started in a cautious manner before throwing caution to the wind in the second session.

They took lunch at 91/0 and and then upped the ante in the second second. Both batsmen played out probing first spells from Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander after which the likes of Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt and  debutant Senuran Muthusamy were taken to the cleaners.

After seeing off the first one hour, Rohit smacked the first six of the innings, coming down to Maharaj and clearing long-on. Five overs later, Piedt got the stick, a six that sailed into the second tier. Agarwal gained confidence from Rohit and lifted the offspinner down the ground. Rohit was 19 off 45 before accelerating and brought up his 50th run off 84 deliveries with a sweep that just about cleared the short-fine leg fielder for a boundary.

A positive stat for India were the control rates of Rohit and Mayank – dominating at 72 and 75 percent respectively. Once the initial movement died, the openers took control making it a session for India. Rabada’s first spell read 6-3-14-0. Besides Piedt and Maharaj, debutant Senuran Muthuswamy bowled just two overs before the teams broke off for lunch.