Visakhapatnam, Oct 2 (IANS) India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat in the first Test of the three-match series against South Africa beginning Wednesday at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.
India had already announced their playing XI on Tuesday in which they included Wriddhiman Saha as their wicketkeeper in place of Rishabh Pant.
“(It was) No brainer that we are going to bat. It looks a good wicket. We will like to play well for the first couple of days. The nature of the pitch is that it’ll get slower after that,” Kohli said after winning the toss.
“It’s a great opportunity for Rohit Sharma at the top of the order. He’s excited to get the role clarity. It’s a new opportunity for him.
“According to me, (Wriddhiman) Saha is the best keeper in the world. We were waiting for the right moment to bring him back.
“They had more experienced players back then. It’s going to be a hard grind for sure,” he added.
“Our coin toss record in the subcontinent isn’t the best. The first innings is going to be very important. We’ve lost a few Test players, even in the last year or so. It’s a fresh start for a lot of new faces. It’s a very young group,” said Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis.
“These guys will be the next Dale Steyns and the next Hashim Amlas. Good to be at the start of the journey for them, have to try and play a mentorship role to get them through. The dryness of the surface, we’ve gone in with two seamers, one all-rounder, and three spinners,” he added.
India: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada