India vs South Africa 1st Test: South Africa begin their World Test Championship campaign as they take on the number 1 side in the world in the first of the three tests at Visakhapatnam. The T20I series between the two teams resulted in a 1-1 draw, but the 5-day format is a different beast altogether. The last time the men from the rainbow nation played India in India, they were humbled. A 3-0 defeat in the Freedom Trophy validated once again India’s dominance at home. The Proteas have to scurry hither & yon to evade the Indian defiance but do they have the firepower?
INDIA & SOUTH AFRICA SINCE 2018
The men in blue are the number 1 ranked Test team in the world. The numbers since 2018 indicate a rather timid 20 months. In their last 17 tests, India have won 9 & lost 7. Certainly, not the numbers one would associate with the best test team. However, the games they’ve gone down have all been outside India. They were beaten 2-1 in South Africa in early 2018 & were hammered 4-1 by the Poms later that year. At home, their record has been nothing short of spectacular. In the last decade(since January 2009), team India have lost only 4 games at home & since 2013, they’ve lost only one.
|India vs South Africa (In India)|
South Africa, on the other hand, don’t have the best results in Asian conditions. In the last decade, the Proteas have played in Asia 16 times & have won only 3. They’ve drawn 6, which isn’t the worst result but they do tend to falter on abrasive tracks. They beat India convincingly at Nagpur in 2010 by an innings & 6 runs. Dale Steyn ran riot while Hashim Amla & Jacques Kallis added 340 runs for the 3rd wicket. South Africa have played only two away tests since 2018. They toured Sri Lanka in July 2018 where they were beaten by 278 & 199 runs. They go up against Ravindra Jadeja & Ravichandran Ashwin who are arguably two of the best tweakers in world cricket at the moment.
|South Africa in Asian Countries(In the last Decade)|
When: 02nd October 2019, Wednesday
Where: Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Kick-Off Time: 9:30 AM, IST
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India have announced their playing XI for the 1st test. Rohit Sharma will be tested at the top of the order & Wriddhiman Saha will replace Rishab Pant behind the stumps. Wriddhiman Saha will play his 1st international game after 22 months. “According to me he’s the best in the world, so in these conditions, with what he’s done for us in the past, he starts for us”- said the Indian captain. Saha scored two fifties for India A in the two unofficial Tests against West Indies A.
Another change would be the annexation of KL Rahul at the top of the order. The dynamic opener didn’t do much with the bat in the Caribbean & will now be replaced by Rohit Sharma. It might be the worst of times to be an opener but Rohit Sharma will gleefully accept this opportunity. The Mumbaikar has batted at number 6 for India in tests & this will be the very first time he’ll be sent in to open. Since the start of 2016, Rohit has played only 11 out of India’s 40 tests but has decently well with the bat. In fact, he averages a high 53.00.
South Africa are likely to play 5 bowlers with Dane Piedt & Keshav Maharaj being the two spinners. Senuran Muthuswamy, Lungi Ngidi & Anrich Nortje will fight for a place in the final XI.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI
|Rohit Sharma||Aiden Markram|
|Mayank Agarwal||Dean Elgar|
|Cheteshwar Pujara||Theunis de Bruyn|
|Virat Kohli(c)||Faf du Plessis(c)|
|Ajinkya Rahane||Temba Bavuma|
|Hanuma Vihari||Quinton de Kock(wk)|
|Wriddhiman Saha(wk)||Vernon Philander|
|Ravindra Jadeja||Keshav Maharaj|
|Ravichandran Ashwin||Kagiso Rabada|
|Ishant Sharma||Anrich Nortje/Muthuswamy/Lungi Ngidi|
|Mohammad Shami||Dane Piedt|
FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA 1st TEST
Ravindra Jadeja is only two scalps away from reaching 200 test wickets. The left-arm spinner will be the 2nd fastest Indian if he reaches there in his 44th test. Ravichandran Ashwin reached there in 37 tests.
Virat Kohli has scored over 1,000 test runs in the last 3 years. 2016 – 1215, 2017 – 1059, 2018 – 1322. This year he’s played only 3 tests & has scored 159 runs at 31.80.
Keshav Maharaja needs 6 wickets to become the 17th South African bowler to reach 100 wickets.
Ashwin & Jadeja have taken 234 & 144 wickets in India at 22.68 & 19.70 respectively.
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