India reach 45/2 at lunch on Day 1
Johannesburg: India struggled to reach 45 for two wickets till lunch on the opening day of the third and final Test against South Africa at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Wednesday.
Virat Kohli (24) and Cheteshwar Pujara (5) were at the crease for India when the umpires called for the end of the first session which saw opening batsmen Murali Vijay (8) and Lokesh Rahul (0) perish.
India, who have already conceded the three-match series, won the toss and elected to bat, having made two changes in their XI. Ajinkya Rahane was included in place of Rohit Sharma while pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar replaced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
South Africa replaced spinner Keshav Maharaj with a medium pace-bowling all-rounder in Andile Phehlukwayo.
The home bowlers continued their dominance over the Indian opening batsmen Vijay and Rahul, who once again failed to provide the visitors a good start.
A delivery from Vernon Philander forced an inside edge off Rahul before the ball kissed his thigh pad and moved to the left of wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock, who dived to grab it.
India lost their second wicket with the score of 13 when Vijay tried to execute a cover drive off Kagiso Rabada but only managed to edge it behind.
Then Pujara and Kohli joined hands and the pair's resolve was tested to the hilt.
Pujara, known for his dogged approach, found the scoring tough. He opened his scoring in the 54th delivery he faced -- a clip towards square leg for a single off paceman Lungi Ngidi.
Kohli got a life after a mistimed pull was dropped by Philander at a region between short cover and short mid-off.
Brief scores: India first innings: 45/2 (Virat Kohli 24 batting; Vernon Philander 1/1) vs South Africa at lunch on Day 1.