Proteas captain Faf du Plessis spins the coin, but Indian skipper Virat Kohli called incorrectly, which saw Du Plessis opt to bat first at Newlands on Friday. Photo: @BCCI via Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Bhuvneshwar Kumar immediately made Proteas captain Faf du Plessis question his decision to bat first when he removed opener Dean Elgar with the third ball of the first Test at Newlands.

Kumar exploited the green conditions underfoot by getting the ball the seam across Elgar. 

South Africa’s highest run-scorer of 2017 could only follow the ball through to wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha to silence a packed Newlands.

New batsman Hashim Amla was also tested with the remaining three balls from Bhuvneshwar, but survived the rest of the over.

Bhuvneshwar, though, gained further success when he trapped Aiden Markram (5) in his second over lbw. South Africa were reeling at 7/2 in the third over when AB de Villiers walked to the crease.

The big news at the toss, though, was South Africa’s decision to select four seamers, with Dale Steyn making his much-anticipated comeback to Test cricket after a year-long absence due to a shoulder injury.

Test series history between South Africa and India. Graphic: Rowan Abrahams

Batsman Temba Bavuma was the unfortunate casualty, with all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo making way for the return of captain Faf du Plessis. 

India also granted a Test debut to Jaspit Bumrah at the expense of Ishant Sharma, while Rohit Sharma was also preferred to Ajinkya Rahane.

Teams For Newlands

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Morné Morkel.

India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Wriddiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.


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