Ranchi: Ajinkya Rahane notched up a hundred while Rohit Sharma stood on the brink of his maiden Test double ton as India consolidated their position in the first innings and reached 357/4 at lunch on Day 2 of the third Test here on Sunday.
Overnight batters Rohit and Rahane continued from where they had left off after bad light stopped play on Day 1.
Rahane, who was batting on 83, brought up his 11th Test century in 169 balls, a first at home in three years.
At the other end, Rohit continued to shine as an opener in the longest format as he reached 150 in 199 deliveries after resuming on 117.
India were 224/3 when play started on the second day and Rohit and Rahane milked the bowlers to the boundary fence with relative ease.
The pair shared a marathon 267-run partnership for the fourth wicket before Rahane (115 off 192 balls; 17x4; 1x6) was caught behind by debutant wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen off fellow first-timer George Linde who scalped his first Test wicket.
In came Jadeja at No. 6 and joined Rohit who moved to the 190s from 150 in no time as the visiting team bowlers seemed to lack the firepower to maul the marauding Indian opener.
Rohit hit Andrich Nortje for back-to-back boundaries in the 84th over, the penultimate before lunch, to race to 196 and in the last over before the break survived few edges off Kagiso Rabada to move to 199 from 242 balls, his innings of six and half hours laced with 28 fours and four sixes.
Jadeja was batting on 15 off 27 balls.
Batting as an opener for the first time in this series, Rohit, on the first day, added yet another feather to his cap by becoming the batsman to hit the most number of sixes in a Test series.
During the ongoing three-Test series against South Africa, Rohit has so far hit 17 sixes and has surpassed Shimron Hetmyer's tally of 15 which came during the two-match series between West Indies and Bangladesh in 2018/19.
Rohit already holds the record for hitting the maximum number of sixes in a Test match. During the first Test in Visakhapatnam, the stylish batsman hit 13 sixes and went past Wasim Akram's tally of 12 maximums which the Pakistan pacer had hit during his 257-run knock against Zimbabwe in 1996.
On the first day, Rohit and Rahane stemmed the rot after India were reduced to 39/3 with skipper Virat Kohli back in the hut for just 12.
For the Proteas, Rabada is the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2/82.
Brief Scores: India: 357/4 (Rohit Sharma 199 batting, Ajinkya Rahane 115; Kagiso Rabada 2/82) vs South Africa
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