Virat Kohli And Ajinkya Rahane, ICC World Test Championship
Virat Kohli And Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credit: Twitter)

India and South Africa are all set to square up against each other in a three-match Test series, starting from Boxing Day. The first Test is scheduled to be played from 26th December to 30th December 2021.

Ahead of the first Test of the series, India were dealt with a massive blow. Rohit Sharma, who has recently been appointed as the vice-captain in Test Cricket, has been ruled out of the series. He has done the bulk of scoring for India in Tests this year. Nobody, in fact, has scored more runs than Rohit Sharma for India in Test Cricket in 2021.

India vs South Africa
Image Source: Twitter

In his absence, KL Rahul should open the innings alongside Mayank Agarwal. India’s batting looks a bit lean, given the fact that Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara haven’t been playing to their potential of late. Add to that, Ajinkya Rahane has been undergoing a lean patch. Whether he makes it into the playing XI or not remains to be seen. Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari both have been included in the squad and both are in good form. Both too are in contention of making the playing XI.

The bowling attack is much similar to the one that was played in 2018. Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are sure-shot starters. Ishant Sharma hasn’t looked too great of late and there could be a chance M Siraj gets the nod ahead of him for the first Test.

India vs South Africa
Image Source: Twitter

South Africa, on the other hand, will be playing a Test series after a long time. They last played a Test series against West Indies, which they won by a 2-0 margin. South Africa have never lost a home Test series against India and they would draw a lot of confidence from that record heading into the series.

Having said that, it won’t be wrong to say that the current South African team isn’t as good as the previous ones. Lack of experience is something to ponder. Quinton de Kock might not be available for two out of three due to the birth of his first child.

Quinton de Kock And Dean Elgar, ICC World Test Championship
Quinton de Kock And Dean Elgar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Dean Elgar is a new captain and it will be interesting to see how he leads the team against a strong Indian team. Dean Elgar is the most experience batter in the squad, having played 69 Tests so far. The likes of Rassie van der Dussen (10), Aiden Markram (26), and Temba Bavuma (44) too have a decent experience if not a lot.

To add misery, Anirch Norjte has been ruled out of the Test series due to a hip injury. Thus, the onus will be on the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Duanne Olivier to pick the bulk of the wickets.

IND vs SA Prediction- Who Will Win the Match Between India vs South Africa, India vs South Africa 2021, 1st Test

Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram
Image Source: Twitter

Teams Head to Head Records: Tests

Stats Matches IND Win  SA Won A
Overall 39 14 15 1
At Super Sport Park 2 0 2
In the last 5 matches 5 4 1

Toss Prediction for the 1st Test of the Test Series

The team winning the toss is likely to bat first.

India: 

  • Batting

Players Matches Runs Average
Mayank Agarwal 16 1294 47.9
KL Rahul 40 2321 35.2
Virat Kohli 97 7801 50.6
Rishabh Pant 25 1549 39.7
Ajinkya Rahane 79 4795 39.3
Cheteshwar Pujara 92 6589 44.8

Who will score the most runs for India in the match:  KL Rahul or Virat Kohli   

  • Bowling

Players Matches Wickets Average
Jasprit Bumrah 24 101 22.8
Ravichandran Ashwin 81 427 24.1
Mohammed Shami 54 195 27.57
M Siraj 10 33 27.7
Ishant Sharma 105 311 32.4
Shardul Thakur 4 14 22.7

Who will pick the most wickets for India in the match: Jasprit Bumrah or M Shami 

South Africa:

  • Batting

Players Matches Runs Average
Dean Elgar 69 4347 39.5
Aiden Markram 26 1824 39.6
Rassie van der Dussen 10 610 38.1
Quinton de Kock 53 3245 39.1
Temba Bavuma 44 2097 32.3
K Petersen 2 44 14.7

Who will score the most runs for South Africa in the match: Dean Elgar or Quinton de Kock

  •  Bowling

Players Matches Wickets Average
Kagiso Rabada 47 213 22.8
Lungi Ngidi 10 32 23.3
Keshav Maharaj 36 129 32.3
Duanne Olivier 10 48 19.2
Wiaan Mulder 6 14 21.1

Who will the pick most wickets for South Africa in the match: Kagiso Rabada or Lungi Ngidi