Chennai, Mar 26 : South Africa on Wednesday sent Indian bowlers on a leather hunt, making 304 runs for the loss of four wickets on the first day of the Chennai Test being played at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.
Captain and opener Graeme Smith made 73 before being caught by VVS Laxman off the bowling of Indian skipper Anil Kumble.
Neil McKenzie made 94 and Jacques Kallis made 13 before falling victims to off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Kumble also snared the wicket of Ashwell Prince.
Hashim Amla and A B de Villiers were at the crease with scores of 85 and 10 runs respectively at the close of play.
Earlier in the day, cricket fans said they were looking forward to an entertaining contest here between South Africa and India.
South African skipper Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to bat against India.
India recalled pacer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth to the side because of an injury to teenager Ishant Sharma. South African left-arm spinner Paul Harris was drafted into his side as the only change from the team that played in their previous test in Bangladesh this month, where they swept the series 2-0.
While the first Test is being played in Chennai from March 26 to 30, the second Test will be played in Ahmedabad from April 3 to 7 and third Test match in Kanpur from April 11 to 15.
Fans said they were confident about India's chances of winning the Test.
"I am sure that India is going to win and India will win. Since their comeback from the Twenty-20, they are really in great form. India is going to win. Come on India," said Shekhar, a cricket fan.
"We are back to the Chepauk Stadium here. Whether it is India or South Africa...no doubt who is going to win, its India, India and India and that's it," said Mavia, another cricket enthusiast.
India aims to cash in on their traditional home advantage after their strong showing in Australia, where they climbed to second in the Test rankings despite losing the series 2-1 against the champions.
The Indian squad for the Test include Anil Kumble (Captain), Wasim Jaffer, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Piyush Chawla (back-up).
South African squad include Graeme Smith (Captain), Ashwell Prince (Vice-captain), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher (wicket-keeper), AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Monde Zondeki.
Story first published: Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 19:19 [IST]
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