South Africa strike early; India 96/3 after 37 overs

CRICKET-IND-RSA Dane Piedt (C) leaps in celebration of the dismissal of Murali Vijay | AFP

Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara gone

South Africa struck early and eliminated Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara to leave India 96/3 after 37 overs on Day one of the last and final Test match at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi on Thursday. India won the toss and elected to bat first.

Off-spinner Dane Piedt drew the first blood, sending Vijay off in the 16th over. He tired to drive a rather innocuous delivery towards the cover but the ball caught outside edge and flew towards the first slip, where Captain Hashim Amla took an easy catch. Piedt struck again when he caught Dhawan LBW at 33. Kyle Abbott claimed the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara (14).

Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli are batting.

Explaining his decision to bat first, Kohli said the Delhi surface produces a lot of runs and would give a slight edge to the team that batted first. He said India had just one change from the team that played in Nagpur, with pacer Umesh Yadav replacing leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

Having already claimed the series 2-0 in Nagpur last week and ended South Africa’s nine-year-long unbeaten streak away from home, Team India are eying a 3-0 whitewash to extend their 10-match unbeaten streak at home since losing the Kolkata Test to England three years ago. The Proteas will look to salvage some pride in this final Test.

Kohli’s South African counterpart Hashim Amla said the pitch looked like a decent surface that could break on later days. The South Africa squad has three changes from the one that played in Nagpur. Temba Bavuma, pacer Kyle Abbott and Dane Piedt replace Stiaan van Zyl, and Simon Harmer.

Teams India:Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma

South Africa:Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Hashim Amla (captain), AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Dane Vilas (wicketkeeper), Dane Piedt, Kyle Abbott, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir

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