The first of the three-Test match series between India and South Africa has commenced at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday. While India won the toss and elected to bat first before the Indian openers walked out to the middle and the national anthems were played out, the day started with a minute’s silence in honour of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
It is for the same reason that the South African cricketers are wearing a black armband in the first Test match against India. Desmond Tutu was one of South Africa’s biggest anti-apartheid icons and has been described as the rainbow country’s moral compass. He breathed his last aged 90.
“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.
Archbishop Tutu also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for fighting the white minority rule in South Africa.
As far as the cricketing action is concerned, South Africa’s Marco Jansen has been handed a debut in this fixture while India have gone ahead with Ajinkya Rahane despite Shreyas Iyer scoring a hundred on his debut Test in Kanpur.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 26, 2021
“Runs on the board and playing away from home…The wicket has a lot of grass on it and the Centurion pitch tends to get faster from day two onwards. It’s very challenging and our success away from home kinda started from here and we got a lot of confidence we can do this often,” India captain Virat captain Kohli said at the toss.
“This is a very strong SA unit and we need to be at our absolute best. The preparation has been wonderful at the centre nets. I can only tell you the combination we have: three seamers, Shardul and Ashwin,” he added.
“Nice and relaxing for us. A few guys have been playing a bit of cricket. We had a good week’s camp at Jo’burg and there’s no excuses for us going into this series. We have a debutant in Marco Jansen who has a lot of success for the A side against the Indian batters. We got three frontline seamers, Mulder as an allrounder and Kesh as our spinner. Kyle Verreynne misses out,” the home team captain Dean Elgar stated before the match at the toss.