- Indo-South Africa first test Dr. Y.S. of Visakhapatnam s. Rajasekhara Reddy to be held at ACA-VDCA Stadium
- India to land a record on home soil with the intention of winning the 11th consecutive Test series
- Wriddhiman Saha awaits the chance after getting fit.
In the first cricket Test against South Africa starting here on Wednesday, India will come down with the hope that Rohit Sharma, who has done well in limited overs cricket, will be able to repeat this form as an opener in Test cricket. The use of Rohit as opener before the Test series did not yield the desired results and he returned to the pavilion without opening the account, opening the innings in South Africa’s only practice match before the series.
Considering Rohit’s excellent form, many former cricketers, including Yuvraj Singh, believe that the Mumbai batsman should play in all formats and should get more chances as a Test opener. He did not find a place in the middle order during the two-Test series on the West Indies tour but India will be hoping that Rohit will form a stable pair at the top, along with Mayank Agarwal, due to the omission of Lokesh Rahul due to poor form.
Who will play the role of wicketkeeper for India?
During the net session before the first Test, all eyes were on Rohit, who was committed to take advantage of the opportunity and improve his Test record. Rohit has scored 1585 runs in 27 Tests at an average of 39.62 so far while in limited overs cricket he has more than 10,000 runs to his name. Apart from this, everyone’s eyes will also be on who will play the role of wicketkeeper from India.
Despite his lack of consistency with the bat, Pant remains India’s first choice in all three formats but Wriddhiman Saha is ready to take his place after being fit. Pant, who scored a century in England and Australia, confirmed his place in India’s Test team but Saha is waiting for the chance after being fully fit and in such a situation the young cricketer cannot take things lightly.
India can get down with two fast bowlers.
Despite Saha joining the team, Pant played in both the Tests in the West Indies but there is every chance that Saha will get a chance against South Africa. The rest of the team seems almost fixed. India can land in this match with two fast bowlers and as many spinners. If the wicket gives a turn, Hanuma Vihari can play the role of a third spinner.
The exit of Jasprit Bumrah is a big setback for India but the duo of Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami are perfectly capable even in their absence. The only spinner as Ravindra Jadeja got a place in the playing XI against the West Indies and it remains to be seen who makes a spin pairing with Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav. The South African team has come with some new players on the tour of India and against them, the hosts are being considered as strong contenders for victory.
Great responsibility on the shoulders of Captain Duplessis.
Only five players of the current team, including captain Faf Duplessis, were part of the team that visited India last time, which then suffered a 0–3 defeat in the Test series. Not many people consider South Africa a contender for victory in the series, especially if the ball starts turning. Aidan Markram and Tenba Bavuma played excellent innings in the practice match and this would have boosted their confidence before the match.
The fast bowling trio of Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi may trouble the Indian batsmen, especially due to the cloudy and rainy forecast for the five days of the match. India will be aiming to win a record 11 consecutive Test series at home and will have to survive the South African fast bowling attack. Time: The match will start at 9:30 in the morning.
The two teams are as follows:
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Shubman Gill.
South Africa: Faf Duplessis (captain), Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyin, Quinton Decak, Dean Elgar, Zubair Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Eric Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dan Pete, Kagiso Rabada and Rudy Seconds.