India win toss, teams pay tribute to anti-apartheid icon Tutu

Centurion (South Africa) (AFP) – India won the toss and decided to bat in the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday.


The South Africa team wore black armbands in honour of anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu, described as the country's moral compass, who died on Sunday aged 90.

Both teams also held a minute's silence.

India captain Virat Kohli seeking a historic away Test series win in South Africa said past history on the ground persuaded him to bat.

"The wicket looks nice," said Kohli.

"There is a lot of grass on it but historically it tends to get faster from day two onwards."

Kohli said he traced India's recent success in away series to their win in the third Test in Johannesburg four seasons ago after they had lost the first two matches.

"That gave us a lot of confidence," he said.

But he admitted: "this is a very challenging place to play cricket in. We have to be at our absolute best."

South Africa gave a surprise debut to tall left-arm fast bowler Marco Jansen, 21.

"He's had a lot of success against the India A side, he hit quite a few of their batters," said South African captain Dean Elgar.

Jansen's inclusion meant there was no place for fast bowler Duanne Olivier, back in the South African ranks after three seasons as a Kolpak player in England.


South Africa: Dean Elgar (capt), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Wiaan Mulder, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi.

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Risabh Pant (wkt), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

Umpires: Marais Erasmus, Adrian Holdstock (both RSA).

TV umpire: Allahuddien Paleker (RSA).

Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM).