HIGHLIGHTS INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA 1st TEST, DAY 3: Play has been abandoned for the day. Sensible decision, given that the weather forecast did not look promising for the rest of the evening. The good news is that the forecast is pretty clear for the remaining two days. Who will be the happier side? Guess India. There will be moisture developing under the surface given that it has been covered for so long. South Africa would have probably thought of batting long and then give a big target to India. Now, with two days left and the pitch becoming a little soft, that plan would have got a setback. Strangely, no early start over the remaining two days. Play begins at the normal time - 1030 local but 98 overs are scheduled on both days. How will Day 4 pan out? (MATCH SCORECARD) (DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS)
HIGHLIGHTS INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA DAY 3, 1st TEST AT NEWLANDS, CAPE TOWN
19.05 IST: Play has been called off. Rain wipes out third day's play between India and South Africa at Newlands. SA 65/2 at stumps, lead India (209) by 142 runs.
18.45 IST: Leading to continuous rainfall, we have lost two sessions of Test cricket on Day 3. South Africa 286 & 65/2, lead India (209) by 142 runs. The Super Sopper is doing its bit and hopefully, we get to see some action today.
18.25 IST: Meanwhile, Indian Diaspora in South Africa shows up to support Team India.
18.05 IST: "Persistent rain continues here at Newlands. Should it stop anytime from now it will take a while for the outfield to be ready for the players to come out and play," confirms Cricket South Africa (CSA).
Persistent rain continues here at Newlands. Should it stop anytime from now it will take a while for the outfield to be ready for the players to come out and play. #ProteaFire #FreedomSeries #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/FnlGZtLnmk— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 7, 2018
17.20 IST: More covers are coming on, to cover the run-ups as it starts raining heavily.
16.50 IST: The BCCI hints at the situation, calling it "slightly better in Newlands" as Team India make their way to the ground.
16.05 IST: Update - Rain wipes out first session at Newlands. South Africa 286 & 65/2, lead India (209) by 142 runs
15.45 IST: Regarding Dale Steyn, an official statement has just been released that he will not bowl in this Test match but can bat if needed. Not sure whether that means any sort of convenience for the Proteas but they will take it for now...
15.30 IST: Meanwhile, Proteas' batting coach unveils what is more important to him besides the game of cricket.
With the rain still coming down here at Newlands, let’s take a moment and hear from Proteas batting coach on what is more important to him besides the game of Cricket #ProteaFire pic.twitter.com/0XTDNEHrTw— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 7, 2018
15.10 IST: The groundstaff at Newlands has put the covers firmly back in place after a few puddles formed along the bowling run-up areas on either side.
15.00 IST: And the wait continues...
14.30 IST: Update - It's raining pretty heavily at the moment at Newlands. Nothing more to write as of now. We'll update you as soon as we hear something.
13.50 IST: One positive sign is, he says, only the pitch is covered. Even the bowlers' runups are not covered. So once the rain stops, the play should not take long to resume. But for that, the sun has to come out. On India's bowling chances, he says that the conditions could help the tourists now but they need to bowl well. There will be moisture underneath the surface as it has been covered for a long time but like yesterday, if they continue to be on the shorter side, then they will struggle. Reckons that something seems to be wrong with Mohammed Shami's fitness because he looks flat.
13.44 IST: Sunil Gavaskar informs on air that the 'SITUATION IS REALLY BAD.' Ouch. He says that it has been drizzling throughout the morning and the pitch has been covered since last evening. Adds that the outfield dries out pretty quickly but looking at the overhead conditions, he reckons that there does not look a sign for the clouds to move away. Firmly states that there will not be any play till Lunch at least and for maybe, even a while after the break.
13.27 IST: It was raining in the morning and seems to be drizzling right now. Covers are firmly in place and words are that the rain itself could stop only at 1 pm local time, which means the entire morning session could be washed out.
13.17 IST: UPDATE!
12.40 IST: UPDATE!
Hello and welcome to our live updates of day three of the first Test between India and South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town. Day three will resume play at 2.00 PM IST and we will shortly get underway. Take a look at DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS between India and Sri Lanka.
Brief Preview: South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first which in the beginning didn't seem a very wise decision. Two days later, the hosts are leading by 142 runs with eight wickets in hand and have a slight edge of the Virat Kohli led Team India. All seemed lost as day one and two saw the Indian batting line-up collapse at a rapid pace but it was all-rounder Hardik Pandya who stood up to the Proteas' attacking unit and smashed a lively 93-run knock to reduce the deficit the visitors were trailing by. India were finally folded for 209 runs (all-out) but it was the 25-year old Pandya who collected two early wickets in the final session of day two.
India XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
South Africa XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Quintin de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel