The first day of the India vs South Africa opening Test stood witness to a unique record even before the first ball was bowled. Skipper Virat Kohli became the Indian captain to have won the most tosses in Test cricket with 30 in 67 matches.
This is in stark contrast to his toss record during the recently-concluded IPL and the T20 World Cup where his luck of the toss was not at its highest. It even sparked a meme-fest on social media, with netizens making celebratory posts whenever he won a toss.
That was not the only record that was shattered on Sunday. Indian openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal became only the 5th Indian pair to stitch a 50-plus opening stand in Tests in South Africa. The two Indians added 82 in the first session of the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 26, 2021
The other Indian pairs are Wasim Jaffer and Dinesh Karthik (153) in Cape Town in 2007, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag )137) in Centurion in 2010, Nayan Mongia and Vikram Rathour (90) in Johannesburg in 1997
Ajay Jadeja, Ravi Shastri – 68 in Johannesburg in 1992.
Both Rahul (29 batting off 84) and Agarwal (46 batting off 84), who are close friends and play for the same domestic team, left the ball well against a pace attack which did not bowl well enough in favourable conditions.
Agarwal carried his good from the home series against New Zealand to SuperSport Park while Rahul stuck to the approach that brought him a lot of success in England earlier this year when he opened the batting alongside the now injured Rohit Sharma.
Rahul was more watchful to start with, showing absolute clarity in leaving the ball while Agarwal was quick to cash in on freebies offered by the opposition pacers.
Agarwal drove Lungi Ngidi through point for the first four of the innings. Rahul, who took 21 balls to get off the mark, played an exquisite straight drive off Kagiso Rabada to get going.