Smith puts India in after rain delay

Toss South Africa chose to bowl v India
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball-details

Dale Steyn v Virender Sehwag, the contest billed as the key to the series, the contest everyone wanted to see, had to wait for four and a half hours because of the miserable weather in Centurion. Overnight and early-morning rain delayed the start from 10.30 am until 3.00 pm, when Graeme Smith asked India to bat in damp conditions, a decision met with cheers from the smattering of spectators at SuperSport Park.

Smith said he was undecided about what to do but the dampness of the surface prompted him to give his bowlers first use of the pitch. Dhoni concurred, saying the wicket looked alright on the top but there was plenty of moisture underneath.

South Africa had only one choice to make to finalise their XI and they picked the left-arm fast bowler, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, over Ryan McLaren. India’s spearhead, Zaheer Khan, failed to recover from a hamstring injury and his absence meant a debut for another left-arm seamer, Jaidev Unadkat.

The aim is to get 48 overs of play before stumps, which is incredible considering the scenes in the morning, when a substantial portion of the ground was covered and a tent was erected over the pitch, with fans and heaters inside, to keep it dry. The weather began to clear about an hour after the scheduled start and the ground staff and the drainage system began to work their magic. Their top efforts meant that Steyn v Sehwag won’t have to wait until day two.

South Africa: 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Ashwell Prince, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Paul Harris, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

India: 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Sreesanth, 11 Jaidev Unadkat.

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