India's Rohit Sharma, left, and Mayank Agarwal piled on the runs for India. Photo: Mahesh Kumar A./AP Photo

First Test, Day 2, Lunch

India: 324/1 (Sharma 176, Agarwal 138*, Pujara 6*, Maharaj 1/121)

The Proteas finally made the breakthrough on the second morning of the first Test, but not before Mayank Agarwal brought up his maiden Test century in Visakhapatnam.

Agarwal resuming on 84 not out, and India on 202 without loss, the home team moved rapidly along under sun-lit skies. The first day was truncated after the entire final session was lost due to heavy downpours.

The Indian openers Agarwal and Rohit Sharma were intent on making up the lost time with both batsmen playing fluently. Agarwal reached his milestone with a single off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.

There was no elaborate celebration from 28-year-old with Sharma just coming across to embrace his opening partner. It was if they both knew that their jobs were far from over with Sharma too moving to 150 shortly afterwards.

The latter, in particular, had his foot firmly on the accelerator at this stage, attacking both Maharaj and Dane Piedt, who in particular had another off-colour day at the office.

The overall run-rate soared above four runs to the over as India moved past 300 – a record for any partnership by the hosts against the Proteas. Sharma moved into over-drive when he belted Maharaj for a successive six and four with his intention clear to move the game along.

However, it led to a lapse of concentration when Sharma over-balanced against a flighted delivery from Maharaj, allowing Quinton de Kock to whip off the bails. It brought to a close a glorious innings with Sharma departing for 176 (244 balls, 23x4, 6x6).

There was no further respite for the Proteas with neither Kagiso Rabada nor Vernon Philander being able to make any inroads with the new ball. The visitors will need to learn to put together more good balls consistently in one area to create pressure on the Indian batsmen.

Agarwal will resume on 138* and Cheteshwar Pujura on six not out. 


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