A sublime century from KL Rahul helped India dominate day one of the Boxing Day Test at the SuperSport Park here on Sunday. At stumps, India are 272/3 in 90 overs with Rahul (batting 122) and Ajinkya Rahane (batting 40) at the crease on a day that totally belonged to the tourists'.
Captain Virat Kohli began the final session with a flick through square leg off Keshav Maharaj. Kagiso Rabada troubled a bit but Kohli came forward and unfurled his cover drive. Rahul too was troubled by Rabada but managed to caress a drive through extra cover. Rahul then went on to smack Maharaj for a pulled four through mid-wicket, followed by dancing down the pitch to hit a six over long-on and enter the 90s.
Lungi Ngidi bowled seven consecutive dot balls to Kohli and on the eighth ball, Kohli in a bid to break free chased a delivery wide outside the off-stump and gave an easy catch to Wiaan Mulder at first slip.
Rahane was off the mark on his second ball, creaming a Ngidi half-volley through covers. Rahane began to deal in boundaries, slicing Ngidi through off-side, flicking Marco Jansen through mid-wicket, cutting off backfoot through backward point off Maharaj, and punching off backfoot through over off Mulder.
Rahul brought up his seventh Test century by steering Maharaj through backward point despite a desperate dive by Keegan Petersen. He also became the second Indian opener to score a Test century in South Africa after Wasim Jaffer's 116 at Cape Town in 2007.
After reaching his hundred, Rahul upper-cut Jansen over the slip cordon. Rahane, on the other hand, leaned into a square drive off Jansen and nailed one along the ground pull on a bouncer from Rabada through backward square leg.
Brief scores: India 272/3 in 90 overs (KL Rahul 122 not out, Mayank Agarwal 60, Lungi Ngidi 3/45) against South Africa)