“If you don’t have the belief that you can win the series here then there is no point coming here.”
Virat Kohli could be seen mumbling this in South Africa vs India Series promo released by Cricket South Africa on Friday. It could be an old Statement but it rightly suits the atmosphere the No. 1 ranked Test team is thriving in.
You might be noticing the consistency and evolution of this Indian Test team from January 2021 but the actual foundation of this consistent team was laid back in 2018 when India visited South Africa.
They might not have won the series as they had lost the first couple of matches but went on to give a proper fight back in the final Test in Johannesburg.
As I said, it was just a foundation as team India went on to claim two back to back victories in Australia, and a 2-1* lead in England. However, it is yet to be seen if they can replicate the same performance and dominance in the rainbow nation.
If team India manages to register a series victory in South Africa, then Virat Kohli will become the first-ever Indian captain to lead his country to a Test series win in Australia and South Africa.
To be honest, winning the series in South Africa would not be captain Kohli’s only motive. He would be looking to shut the outside noise with his bat as well. Before coming to South Africa, a lot has happened off the field, which undoubtedly would impact the Indian captain’s performance, however, it is yet to be seen if it strikes on a positive note or turns out to be negative.
Coming to South Africa, it will be interesting to see their combination and preparation before facing the No. 1 ranked Test team. However, things aren’t going to be easy for them either as just ahead of the series, they faced a massive blow as their key pacer Anrich Nortje was ruled out of the series.
Coming to records, South Africa hasn’t lost a Test series at home against India till now but looking at the team strength, it’s going to be a challenging task for them to maintain the record.
They had won their previous series against India 2-0 and would be looking to maintain their winning record against India at home.
- Match: South Africa vs India, 1st Test
- Date: Sunday, December 26, 2021
- Time: 1:30 PM (IST) / 10:00 AM (Local Time) / 8:00 AM (GMT)
- Venue: SuperSport Park, Centurion
The pitch at the SuperSport Park in Centurion offers assistance for the fast bowlers and it will become heaven if the clouds favour them.
The bounce and seam movement will make batters struggle. However, if batters set their eyes and give time to themselves, they can score well. The outfield, as usual, will be quick.
- Test matches played: 26
- Matches won by home team: 21
- Matches won by visiting team: 2
- Matches Drawn: 3
Head-To-Head Record at SuperSport Park
- Match Played: 2
- South Africa Won: 2
- India Won: 0
- Drawn: 0
South Africa & India Squads
South Africa Squads
Dean Elgar (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), George Linde, Marco Jansen, Glenton Stuurman, Sarel Erwee, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Ryan Rickelton, Prenelan Subrayen, Temba Bavuma, Keegan Petersen, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sisanda Magala.
Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Mayank Agarwal, Ishant Sharma, Priyank Panchal, Hanuma Vihari, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.
SA vs IND Probable Playing XI
South Africa Playing XI
Dean Elgar (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Temba Bavuma, Keegan Petersen, Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram.
India Playing XI
Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Shardul Thakur, Mohd Siraj/Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Mayank Agarwal, Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin.
Must Picks for SA vs IND
- Dean Elgar: The South African skipper is the backbone of his side’s batting unit and is expected to lead his side from the front. He has accumulated 4347 runs in 69 Test matches so far.
- Kagiso Rabada: The South African doesn’t need an introduction. Is he? The fast bowler will be a running beast at the South African pitches. He can swing the ball both ways and will make batters struggle. Coming to numbers, he has picked 213 wickets in 47 Test matches.
- Aiden Markram: It is going to be one of the crucial series for the Under 19 World Cup-winning captain, considering his recent form. He has scored 1824 runs in 24 Test matches and will be the second most crucial batter of the South African batting unit.
- KL Rahul: The Indian opener has cemented his place at the top after giving a couple of back to back amazing performances in England earlier this year. However, this time the responsibilities would be more on his shoulder as his regular batting partner Rohit Sharma isn’t playing this Test match and Mayank Agarwal is expected to replace him. Coming to his numbers, the Karnataka-born has added 2321 runs to his Test tally at an average of 35.17 and will be among the top fantasy picks for this game.
- Virat Kohli: The Indian Test skipper had undergone a lean patch in Test cricket in the last few months but that can’t deny the fact that he is one of the most skilled Test batters in the longest format of the game. He has smacked 7801 runs in 97 Test matches at an average of above 50.
- Jasprit Bumrah: The India pacer made his Test debut in South Africa, back in 2018 and since then he hasn’t looked back. In just 24 Test matches, he has picked 101 wickets with the best figures of 6 for 27 in an innings. Considering the conditions in South Africa, the expectations from him would be high and keeping him out of your fantasy would be a wrong call.
Anrich Nortje is ruled out due to a “persistent” hip injury.
Average First Innings Score
The average first innings score at this venue in the last 5 matches played is 335 runs.
South Africa & India Last 5 Matches Stats
SA vs IND Player Record/Stats (Top 5)
|Player||Vs South Africa||Test Carrer|
|Virat Kohli||1075 Runs (12 Matches)||7801 Runs|
|Lokesh Rahul||30 Runs (2 Matches)||2321 Runs|
|Jasprit Bumrah||14 Wickets & 4 Runs (3 Matches)||101 Wickets & 130 Runs|
|Dean Elgar||576 Runs & 6 Wickets (10 Matches)||4347 Runs & 15 Wickets|
|Kagiso Rabada||24 Wickets & 141 Runs (9 Matches)||213 Wickets & 693 Runs|
SA vs IND Captaincy Picks For Fantasy Team
- Virat Kohli
- Lokesh Rahul
- Kagiso Rabada
SA vs IND Dream11 Fantasy Team Prediction
Fantasy Team Suggestion 1
- Wicket-Keeper: Quinton de Kock, Rishabh Pant
- Batsmen: Virat Kohli, Dean Elgar, Lokesh Rahul, Rassie van der Dussen
- All-Rounders: Ravichandran Ashwin, Wiaan Mulder
- Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Kagiso Rabada, Shardul Thakur
- Captain: Virat Kohli
- Vice-Captain: Kagiso Rabada
Fantasy Team Suggestion 2
- Wicket-Keeper: Quinton de Kock
- Batsmen: Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Temba Bavuma, Lokesh Rahul, Rassie van der Dussen
- All-Rounders: Ravichandran Ashwin
- Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Shardul Thakur
- Captain: Lokesh Rahul
- Vice-Captain: Rassie van der Dussen
SA vs IND Befitting Facts
- South Africa is the only country where India haven’t won a Test series.
- India have won each of their last two Boxing Day Tests.
Probable Winner Of The Match
India is expected to win this match.
Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team for the fantasy game please consider the points mentioned and make your own decision at the time of making your team.