The first test of three between India and South Africa kicks off today at 2 PM (IST). The schedule for the series is below.
January 5, 2:00 PM
January 13, 1:30 PM
January 24, 1:30 PM
South Africa have been a force to reckon in international cricket. It has been a tough destination for touring teams in cricket’s longest format. India, in their past six outings, have failed to win a single series and have managed to win only two Test matches.
SA skipper Faf Du Plessis said last evening, “I don’t know when the next Test series against India is, but it’s probably the last time all of us (senior players) play against India and there’s no better way than playing a series in South Africa. We were disappointed the last time we went there and we’ve got a score to settle, so we’re excited for this series.”
While all the anticipation rises before the much-awaited match, we give you the Indian boys to look out for!
1) Murali Vijay-
Murali Vijay, the player of the new ball is one of the best Team India has seen in a couple of years or more. Also, he’s never failed to perform brilliantly in all the overseas matches he’s played.
His strength has been his judgment outside the off-stump. There’s no doubt that he is one of the most elegant stroke-players, but the way he leaves the ball outside the off-stump is just as beautiful as his cover-drive. Hence, he will be very crucial against the South African new ball attack.
2) Cheteshwar Pujara-
Ball-by-ball, over-by-over, hour-by-hour, session-by-session, and when in the mood, even day-by-day, the 29-year-old wears the opponent down to submission.
Outstanding batting methodology and mindset, Pujara brings the best of both worlds to the table. His focus on the longer format is a much-needed change in the current set-up of world cricket, where instant glory and quick money in franchise-based leagues is slowly taking over.
3) Virat Kohli-
When Virat Kohli is singing, India looks like a different team. Kohli doesn’t just score runs; he sets the terms of engagement, pins down the opposition.
Kohli’s hunger for runs is matched only by his inexhaustible will and ambition as captain. His incredible self-belief, never-back-down style, and hard taskmaster methods have transformed India into a lean, mean and ruthless unit.
4) Bhuvaneshwar Kumar-
Bhuvneshwar swings the ball both ways and at an alarming pace. With the kind of pace he has been displaying, he can be a great asset for the team on South African wickets which usually have bounce and carry. -Javagal Srinath