Mayank Agarwal scores double century as India flays South Africa

Indian skipper Virat Kohli plays football with teammates during a practice session

Indian skipper Virat Kohli plays football with teammates during a practice session

Opener Aiden Markram had collected centuries for South Africa A and the Proteas against India A and the Indian Board President's XI late last month, but couldn't convert this fine form into success at Test-match level.

Swashbuckling Indian batsman Rohit Sharma grabbed the opportunity to open the innings with both hands as he struck a blistering hundred on the rain-hit opening day of the first Test against South Africa at the ACA-VDCA Stadium on Wednesday. Although Rohit Sharma missed an opportunity of scoring his first double Test ton, youngster Mayank Agarwal remained successful in registering his first double ton in his worldwide career. "Just wear the pads and go in to bat".

A sudden thunder storm forced the umpires to call tea seven minutes early and no further play was possible after heavy rains lashed the coastal city. Debutant spinner Senuran Muthusamy had Kohli caught and bowled as his maiden Test wicket. "Opening the batting in red-ball cricket is a different ball game compared to limited-overs". "Of course mentally you have to train your mind more than anything else", he said.

Sharma (176, 244 balls, 23x4, 6x6) was the original aggressor, as he was particularly severe on Piedt during his innings, but after he fell to Keshav Maharaj (3/189) his opening partner took centre-stage.

Sharma, who got to his 50 before lunch, shifted gears and went after the slow bowlers as he hammered off-spinner Danie Piedt for two successive sixes to move into the nineties. Sharma, who resumed the day on 115, smashed the ball to all parts of the ground.

Visiting pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander beat the bat on a few occasions with the new ball and those were the only moments of discomfort that the right-handed batting pair encountered.

Sharma got off the mark as an opener in the longer format in style as drove Rabada for a boundary at backward point.

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