The much awaited series between India and South Africa will start from 05th January 2018.
The battle between the number 1 and number 2 test side is on the way. The first test match between Virat and his men Vs Faf and co will begin at Cape Town on 5th January 2018.
After the grand home season, Virat’s toughest series will begin as a skipper. Virat has been excellent as a skipper but now he will be tested in the South African conditions.
He needs to do what the other Indian captains have not done so far. India has not won a single series on the South African soil.
Virat Kohli and his men will have to create history, but this won’t be easy because the Proteas are very strong at home. They are not easily beatable at home just like India.
India needs to bat well, they have the bowlers to deliver but batting will be tested on the green pitches of South Africa.
Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Chesteshwar Pujara, Kohli, Saha, Jadeja, Ashwin and Hardik Pandya will have pass the Steyn test in South Africa.
The South Africa bowlers are in very good nick, they rattled the poor Zimbabweans in just 2 days. Morne Morkel and Keshav Maharaj had an outstanding test match. They took 5 wickets, Morkel took it in the 1st innings and Maharaj took it in 2nd innings. That allowed South Africa to win the one off test in just 907 balls.
Form of Ajinkya Rahane will be a big concern for the visiting team, Rahane didn’t play well against Sri Lanka in the test matches and he didn’t get to play the ODIs and the T20 series. He is the crucial member of this India test team, his form will be useful in the middle order.
India’s condition with the moving ball on pace and bouncy pitches will be tested. They didn’t bat well in recently concluded test matches and One Day Internationals against Sri Lanka.
Their lack of concentration is a big issue, only Pujara batted well in that over cast conditions in Kolkata. Rest didn’t contribute.
At Dharamsala, it was masterclass by MS Dhoni, but India went on to lose the match.
On flat pitches, India bats like a king but on green and bouncy wickets India’s batsmen fall like a pack of cards. This is the real situation of the number 1 test team.
India has done well in the home conditions but now they should prove that they are not just home track bullies.
The bowling has been the strength they can take 20 wickets in South Africa.
Jasprit Bumrah is in the line of making his test debut against South Africa. After showing his class in shorter formats, Bumrah is all set to impress one and all in the longer version of the game.
Mohd Shami has to be fit throughout the 3 test matches, he should also participate in the One Day series and the T20 series. His fitness will be tested.
Umesh Yadav didn’t have a great series against Sri Lanka, still he is in the squad. Now he should be perform well and be a permanent member of the Indian test team. Just Like Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Bhuvi had an excellent year across all the 3 formats. He has been India’s spear head in the bowling attack. Bhuvneshwar will play a key to India’s success. He also has the batting skills, now it is time for Bhuvi to use it whenever the team requires.
Ishant Sharma has been good, but he can’t afford to be inconsistent. He needs to keep up his good work.
The spin sensations of India have a lot to prove, especially in overseas condition. Ashwin and Jadeja have been criticised for not taking wickets outside home. They are termed as home track bully in India. Their reputation is at stake if they don’t perform. They are the test specialist and most trusted all rounder for India.
If Ashwin and Jadeja don’t perform than their place is in danger in test matches too, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are set to replace them just like they have done in the ODIs.
India Team Predicted 11 –
India will miss Shikhar Dhawan for the first test, KL Rahul should open with Murali Vijay.
KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Chesteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Saha, Ashwin, Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami, Umesh Yadav/Jasprit Bumrah.
On the other South Africa will want to be unbeatable against India at home.
They had a perfect rehearsal for this important series against Zimbabwe.
Their batsmen are in good nick, they just need to convert the starts to a big score, which they failed to do it against Zimbabwe.
Aiden Markram was the only one to do so; his 125 run knock was the one to change the course of that innings.
South Africa will thrilled to have Faf and Dale Steyn back in their squad. Faf missed the one off test and Dale Steyn returns to the squad after the gap of 2 years.
India should be aware of Dale Steyn, he is the destroyer for the opposition team. India can’t take him lightly.
South African team has grown stronger with De Villers and Steyn back in their squad.
Their batting now looks deeper and the bowling has more variations, with the only spinner Keshav Maharaj in that squad.
South Africa has lost just 2 matches against India at home. Both the teams have played 17 test matches, the home team has won 8 and 7 matches have ended in a draw.
India is yet to win a match in Cape Town, they have played 4 and lost all of them. The last time when these two teams met at Newlands was in 2011. That match was ended in a draw.
South Africa has a good record in Cape Town, they have won 23 matches out of 54 matches played. 11 tests have been ended in a draw.
The last time the Proteas played at this venue was in 2017 against Sri Lanka. The hosts won this game by 282 runs.
Playing XI of South Africa –
The South Africans will add their regular captain Faf Du Plesi and Dale Steyn in their squad.
Faf du Plesi, Hashim Amla, AB De Villers, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Markram, De cock, Philander, Morkel, Rabada, Steyn and Keshav Maharaj.
Will India manage to create a history? Or will South Africa will dominate as the hosts?