South Africa vs India Test Series 2021-22 | 1st Test | Preview | Match Timings | Prediction
The Indian media were splashing the juicy spats of the Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli and BCCI secretary Sourav Ganguly and the matter was still being debated and on the course came the outburst of World’s No.2 all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, wherein he talked about quitting owing to the attitude of the former Indian coach Ravi Shastri.
In the process, have the followers missed out on the essence of the South African series?
Team India has toured South Africa on seven occasions and India is yet to win a Test series in South Africa. So if India are to cement their No.1 ranking in the ICC Test rankings, it will require something special from the Men in Blue.
Overall records between these two countries are not so eschewed, as India has won 14 Tests and the opponents hold a slight edge with 15. It emphasizes that In India, South Africa has struggled but they have managed a series win, so overall South Africa holds an edge is what we feel. However, if the current proteas squad can pull it off is the big question.
The 2021-22 bilateral series of 3 Tests which is set to begin on the 26th of this month is giving a wonderful opportunity for India to break the hoodoo and take away the smear of not winning in South Africa. This is a perfect opportunity as right now South Africa is rebuilding the team and the team is clearly struggling including the management.
Match Toss Time: 13:00 IST
Match Start Time: 13:30 IST
Head to head
|Head-to-Head Test Matches|
|South Africa wins||15|
Matches Played: 39, India: 14, South Africa: 15, Draw: 10
Venue and conditions
Centurion is the Gabba of South Africa. Since 1995, 26 Tests have been played and South Africa have lost only twice, once to England and Australia respectively. They have won 21 Tests and margins have been comfortable as well.
The visitors have played two Tests here, the first in 2010, where they lost by an innings and 25 runs. In 2018, in spite of valiant innings of 153 by Virat Kohli, India lost by 135 runs.
The rebuilding side of South Africa has defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and England by 107 runs in their last two encounters at Centurion. So India can not take the match lightly as the new entrants can create ripples.
Both teams are suffering from injury woes, India is missing newly appointed limited-overs skipper Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Shubhman Gill. On the other hand, Anrich Nortje is ruled out, Quinton de Kock is set to miss a couple of Tests as well on account of the birth of his child.
The squads will be selected on the basis of centurion pitch which offers pace and bounce and virtually no assistance to spinners.
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are likely to open. Followed by Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Shreyas Iyer. Rishabh Pant will take the responsibility behind the stumps. Jasprit, Siraj, Shami, and Shardul Thakur as pacers, and Ravichandran Ashwin is set to play as the lone spinner.
Dean Elgar has established himself as the captain for years to come and this is a sign of a comeback for cricket in South Africa.
The opening is likely to be done by himself and Markram. Temba Bavuma, Van Der Dussen, Sarel Erwee as batters. Quinton de Kock to don the gloves.
Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, and Beuran Hendricks are likely to make up the bowling department.
Probable Playing Xl
South Africa (SA): Dean Elgar (C) Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Van Der Dussen, Sarel Erwee, Quinton De Kock (wk), Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Beuran Hendricks
India (IND): KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chetwashwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami
Pitch and conditions
Centurion pitch offers pace and this time a lot of grass has been left on the ground. Spinners do not usually pick up wickets in the first innings, the exception is Ashwin, who managed to take 4 wickets in the last encounter.
Further here in the 4th innings batting is not difficult and India scored 451 in the last innings of 2010.
So the pitch holds true. This pitch is wonderful to bat on the 2nd and 3rd days. The ground has witnessed many double hundreds and in the last Test, Faf du Plessis scored 199 against Sri Lanka.
In bowling, Morne Morkel was more successful than Dale Steyn, then the success of Jofra Archer and Ngidi confirmed that bowlers who hit the deck does better here owing to good bounce.
There is a 60% chance of rain on the first two days and it may spoil the chances but it will ensure that huge scores are not made.
Looking at grass, the team winning the toss should opt to bowl first. The 2nd day is excellent for batting so teams would like to capitalize on the same.
If South Africa bat first, then they are likely to be bundled out for less than 300, India will score around 400. In the 2nd innings again, South Africa will score around 250 and India will be able to chase the target and win.
If India bats first then they may score around 250, South Africa will score around 300. In the 2nd innings, India will score around 300 and the match will be a cliffhanger.
Hoping for a rain-free match on account of the weather forecast, Enjoy a good contest as the match will go up to the 5th day.
The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the author's view and do not necessarily reflect the official match scores, proceedings, or position of the match in any way.