Ajinkya Rahane was wonderful to watch, as the right-hander scored the highest individual score so far in this Freedom Test Series between India and South Africa.
The Mumbaikar, desperate for a big score at home after several failures, played with assurance and patience to ensure India would not crumble under the pressure exerted by the impressive Dane Piedt and the outstanding Kyle Abbott.
India only managed 231/7 in 84 overs at the close of play at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi because of Rahane's unbeaten 89 (155b, 9x4, 2x6).
The right-hander was at one of three key partnerships in this innings, the first of which came with his skipper Virat Kohli. The duo put on 70 runs for the fourth wicket, before an extremely unlucky dismissal led to Kohli walking back having made a fluent 44, 62b, 7x4).
That wicket was one of the many highlights of this brilliant day of Test match cricket, a day which had it all – quality bowling, be that fast or spin, and outstanding, grafting and crafty batting.
Rahane stood strong, even after Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha threw their wickets away in a second session in which India lost five wickets, with Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin giving India's No.5 good company.
India would have probably folded for a score well below 200 had they succumbed to the pressure exerted by Piedt and Abbott, with the two bowlers taking all the seven wickets that fell on the opening day of this final Test match of the series.
Rahane will now want to score the 11 runs necessary for the first hundred of the series, before going on to score a few more to take India closer to that 300 total. Much will depend on if Ashwin and the remaining two batsmen after that – Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav – can stay with their senior partner.
Watch the Day One Match Highlights HERE
Watch Kohli's freak dismissal HERE