Ind vs SA, 1st Test: Preview
After a long limited overs home season, the No. 1 team in ICC Test Rankings is ready to face their first opponents in the 18 months long Away Season. India will be hoping for a first ever series win in 25 years in the Rainbow Nation. But looking into the past records, it doesn’t look like butter on toast for India, as they have struggled a lot on the bouncy pitches and specially against short balls, so it becomes very critical for the team to address this problem as soon as possible. MoreOver for some players it will be their first ever trip to South Africa and it will be very interesting to see how Kohli performs as it will be his first ever overseas Test Series out of Asia. On other hand South Africa looks confident but they have some issues that they need to address and some of them are related to rules like playing two black Africans is mandatory, so they need to choose their best players jn that category and the management will also be sweating over fitness of their lead pacer Steyn who will be coming back into side after nursing multiple injuries.
Pitch and Ground Conditions:
As far as the pitch is concerned it is obvious that it will have grass covering but will not be bouncy as it was used to be in past but it is expected to be a sporting pitch as per the curator at Newlands Stadium, CapeTown.
Date- 5 Jan 2018, Time- 2:00 PM IST
It will be telecasted on Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3 and on Sony Liv App.
As far as the Indian line-up is concerned, it will be a challenging task for Virat Kohli to pick his best for the battle of chanpions due to multiple problems such as ankle injury to Dhawan at the start of tour but he is reported to be fit now and Jadeja has been diagnosed with viral and will be treated at a local hospital and any call on availability of both Shikhar and Jadeja will be taken on the match day. India is expected to go with a 7-1-3 combination and will be playing with 7 batsman including wicket-keeper and 1 spinning allrounder and 3 pacers.
Dhawan, M.Vijay, Pujara, Virat(C), Rahane(Vc), Rohit, Saha(wk), Ashwin, B.Kumar, Shami, Ishant
The hosts will be mulling over fitness of Steyn and Du Plessis who missed the 4-fay Test against Zimbabwe and are still in doubt over availability of De Kock who is nursing a hamstring injury and if he is declared unfit then de Villiers might take up the gloves for the 1st Test and in case Du Plessis also becomes unfit then de Villiers will be the stand in Captain for SA.
Markarm, Elgar, Amla, Du Plessis(C), De Villiers(Wk), Bavuma, Philander, Maharaj, Steyn, Rabada, Morkel