We are just moments away from the start of the eagerly anticipated series Test series between India and South Africa at the rainbow nation. Despite India’s stunning run in the longest format of the game off late, it will require a herculean task from them to clinch their first Test series in the rainbow nation. South Africa has a pretty firm base, but the absence of Dale Steyn might work in India’s favour.
So with around 24 hours to go from the 1st delivery of the 1st Test between India and South Africa to commence let us have a look at South Africa’s Predicted XI for the opening Test
The southpaw has gone on to become one of the most dependant batsmen at the top of the order. He has to deal with several opening partners in the recent past, but Elgar has stood strong and been a constant in the top of the order. Despite having some technical flaws, the southpaw has matured immensely over the years and have scored heaps of runs for his team. He will look to put up a memorable performance against the No 1 Test side in the world and make it a worthwhile experience.
The stylish 23-year-old has been a revelation for the Proteas in his brief career so far. He has already smashed a couple of Test centuries in 3 matches albeit against weak teams Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. This will be the first big test for the youngster, and he will look to clear the test with flying colours.
Over the years, Amla has established himself as arguably the best South African batsman especially in the longest format of the game. He boasts of a sensational record against India and will look to continue his good work come tomorrow. He is an all-round player and can dominate the game according to his will. For South Africa to win the series, Amla’s performance will prove to be crucial.
AB de Villiers
Mr 360 missed most of the Test matches in the last year, and a half and his inclusion in the side will bolster the Proteas as they look to keep their record against India at home intact. There is no introduction required of de Villiers as he has a huge fan base all over the world. Whenever he walks out to bat the opposition team can sense that they have to take their game to a different level to counter de Villiers.
Faf Du Plessis
What a strong middle order South Africa has. The skipper of the side, du Plessis is expected to occupy the 5th spot. There is no doubt about the fact that he is one of the most sensible batsmen in the team and one can rely on him to play long hours to win or save a match for his side. He doesn’t have a particularly great record against the Indians, and he will be looking to change his fate come tomorrow.
He is perhaps the weakest link in the middle order, but despite his shortcomings, Bavuma has played quite a few exceptional knocks in the recent past. The short fellow sometimes gets himself into trouble while facing the short deliveries and the Indian bowlers might use this ploy to good effect.
Quinton de Kock
The southpaw is one of the most stylish batsmen in the team. He has proven that a batsman can convert his ODI success into Test success. He has been a prolific run scorer for the Proteas in all formats of the game, and in Tests, he has the chance to play his natural game as he walks out to bat late in the batting order. The southpaw hasn’t played a Test against India but boasts of a sensational record against them in the shorter format of the game.
The left-arm spinner has been a revelation for the Proteas in the recent past. South Africa was looking for a quality spinner for several years, and Maharaj might just be the answer to their woes. He has a perfect blend of guile and control and can bowl consistently in a particular area for the whole day. India is known to play spinners the best in the world, but Maharaj might just be the nail in the coffin for the visitors with no experience of playing against them.
He is another champion bowler for South Africa who can consistently trouble opposition with his sensational line and length bowling and can move the ball both ways. He is also one of the better exponents of the reverse swing but injuries in the recent years have halted his progress in international cricket. In the absence of Steyn, Philander has to take up added responsibility alongside the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel.
The young talent can well be counted as the most lethal bowler for the South African team despite the presence of some exceptional bowlers in their ranks. Rabada has been a sensation for the Proteas and has gone on to bag several wickets in all formats of the game in the recent past. He is a rare find for the Proteas, and his contribution will be vital to South Africa’s chances in the Test series.
The tall speedster was the new ball partner with Dale Steyn for quite a few years for South Africa. He hasn’t been as consistent as Steyn, but he has been a sensational support bowler. He can extract steep bounce and can also swing the ball both ways.
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