Team India has visited South Africa for a 3-match Test series and it will be followed by a 3-match ODI series. The first Test is scheduled to be commencing on Boxing day December 26, at SuperSport Park, Centurion. Both the teams won their last Test series and will be hoping to continue the dominance. India has played a total of 7 Test series in South Africa and failed to win any one of them.
The Indian team will be having a better opportunity to win their maiden Test series in South Africa this time around. South Africa will be led by the batter Dean Elgar in this Test series. Just as the tour was about to begin, CSA released a press stating South Africa’s main pacer Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the Test series as he failed to recover from the injury.
The onus will now be on Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Duanne Olivier to protect the unbeaten record of the Proteas at home against India. India will have its own share of headaches in choosing the playing eleven. Vice-captain KL Rahul hinted that India may go with 3 frontline pacers in the lineup, along with Shardul and Ashwin. In that case, there will be an intense battle for a spot among India’s ex vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, in-form Shreyas Iyer, and Hanuma Vihari.
With Anrich Nortje out injured, Duanne Olivier’s return to Test cricket is guaranteed. As experience and accomplishment are in short supply in the batting ranks, Dean Elgar will be expected to carry more than his fair share of the burden in his first Test as captain on home soil.
Probable XI: Dean Elgar (capt), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi.
Ravindra Jadeja’s injury-enforced absence will be expected to hurt India quite a bit. It’ll be interesting to see will they try to stick with the five-bowler template that has served them well or hope and trust that four bowlers are good enough to take 20 wickets. Of course, five bowlers will mean room for only five frontline batters, and that is on a challenging surface.
Probable XI: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma.
Fantasy XI suggestion 1:
Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli (c), Mayank Agarwal (vc), KL Rahul, Dean Elgar, Rassie van der Dussen, Wiaan Mulder, Mohammad Shami, Kagiso Rabada, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah
Fantasy XI suggestion 2:
Quinton de Kock, Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vc), Dean Elgar (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Wiaan Mulder, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah