Rahane keeps India on track in Delhi

India reached stumps on day one of the fourth Test against South Africa on 231 for seven, with Ajinkya Rahane's 89 not out the vital contribution in the face of some good Proteas bowling.

The score was the highest of the Test series, beating the 215 India made in Nagpur, while Dane Piedt, in for Simon Harmer, bagged four wickets. Kyle Abbott, in for Kagiso Rabada, took three before bad light stopped play.

India won the toss and opted to bat, once again, as the Proteas needed to win the match to avoid a zero in the win column at the end of the series. India have already won the series.

Abbott struck early as India started slowly, not even two runs to the over, but his foot was over the line and Vijay was reprieved. The batsman was given a chance later too, as he was dropped by Hashim Amla in the slips.

But Vijay was unable to take advantage of his reprieves, and was out for 12 off 59 balls. Amla took the catch this time, off Piedt. This was the only wicket of the session as India reached lunch on 60 for one.

Shikhar Dhawan was out just after the break, for 33 when he was trapped in front by Piedt. Cheteshwar Pujara followed soon afterwards, bowled by Abbott for 14.

This left Rahane and Virat Kohli to rescue the innings, and they put on 70 runs together over the next hour and a bit. The skipper was eventually out for 44 though, caught by Dane Vilas and the ball rebounded off short leg Temba Bavuma's thigh.

Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha were both out for one, and Ravi Jadeja added 24 before becoming Piedt's fourth victim. Amla dropped another sitter in this time, letting Rahane's edge fall to the turf.

The evening session belonged to Rahane though, as he showed that the pitch had no demons, and struck the spinners for numerous boundaries. Ravi Ashwin, who was on six at the close, was also given a life when he gloved the ball to the close fielder but umpire Kumar Dharmasena said not out.