The Boxing Day Test match against South Africa is underway in Centurion, and in the very first session of the first day, Team India’s top order, i.e., the first three batsmen, failed miserably and collapsed like a house of cards. This includes Captain Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, who came to open, and Shubman Gill, playing at number three in the absence of Cheteshwar Pujara in the series. However, these three batsmen couldn’t play a significant inning. The situation is such that Team India starts on the backfoot in the first session itself. Captain Rohit Sharma was the first wicket to fall.
Captain Rohit Sharma, who was looking good, played some decent shots, but after hitting a boundary, he got caught out on Kagiso Rabada’s delivery. Following that, Yashasvi Jaiswal, who had played 37 balls and scored 17 runs with four boundaries, also seemed poised to play a good innings. However, it did not materialize, and he too departed. When the team’s score was 23 runs, the first wicket fell at 13 runs. Subsequently, Shubman Gill, who was attempting to build a good innings with Virat Kohli, also could not deliver. He scored only two runs in 12 balls, becoming Rabada’s victim as well. So, the challenge against South Africa doesn’t seem easy, and South Africa has shown that winning here is quite challenging. It’s worth mentioning that the match started late due to a slightly wet outfield, and the toss was delayed. Team India’s top order, one after another, departed within 24 runs.
In quick succession, Rabada took one wicket, and the other two were claimed by Nandre Burger, dismissing Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal. Team India appears vulnerable, and Rohit Sharma, once again, seems to have failed. Despite the anticipation that this Test series is crucial for Rohit Sharma’s future as captain, he failed in the first innings. Although Rohit Sharma’s record in Centurion is not particularly outstanding—having scored just above 50 runs in his last appearance here—one thing is clear: facing the challenge in South Africa will require the batsmen to play with determination and skill. In the press conference, it was mentioned that only good shot selection would result in runs. However, poor shot selection was witnessed, leading to the top-order batsmen failing to play significant innings—some scoring two runs, some five, and some 17 runs. Team India couldn’t secure a good start, despite making big claims before the series that a good start could lead to a substantial score. However, on the first day of the Boxing Day Test match, the top order of Team India has already crumbled.
It is clear that facing challenges in South Africa will require the batsmen to play with determination. Playing with confidence and good shot selection was emphasized in the press conference, but unfortunately, poor shot selection was witnessed. As a result, none of the top-order batsmen could play a significant innings, with some making two runs, some five, and some 17. The series, which was set to begin with grand claims, is now off to a shaky start. It was said that if a good start is achieved, the team can build a big score. However, on the first day of the Boxing Day Test match, the top order of Team India has already crumbled in the first session.
The first session of Team India’s top order in the Boxing Day Test match has unfolded, revealing their vulnerability.