SA vs IND 1st Test: PREVIEW

SA vs IND 1st Test: PREVIEW
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SA vs IND 1st Test: PREVIEW

India’s tour of South Africa will start on the 26th of December with the first test of the 3-match test series being played at Centurion. India are yet to win a series in South Africa. It’s a great opportunity for Virat Kohli and his men to end the drought on the Protea soil as they are the number one test side and are in great form especially in the recent overseas tours.

India will be without the new vice-captain Rohit Sharma, star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, and youngster Shubman Gill who are ruled out due to injury. India will miss their services but they have good depth in their squad. Expectations will be high from the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal. Ajinkya Rahane, and Cheteshwar Pujara. Pace bowlers will be India’s biggest strength in this series

India will be high on confidence after defeating New Zealand in a two-match test series at home and will look to carry the winning momentum against the Proteas in this series.


South African skipper Dean Elgar said that playing in their own backyard gives them the upperhand. The Proteas too will be without the services of Anrich Nortje who is ruled out of the entire series due to injury while Quinton de Kock will miss at least one, maybe two matches awaiting the birth of his first child. The Proteas squad is having some new faces in their squad. Duanne Olivier’s return means that they won’t miss Nortje that much. Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi will be the other two pacers making the pace trio for the Proteas. The onus of scoring runs will be on skipper Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, Keegan Petersen, and Temba Bavuma who is coming in the test squad.


Probable Playing 11

Hanuma Vihari returns to the squad and should walk straight in the eleven in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja. Mayank Agarwal will open alongside KL Rahul.

Probable 11: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Ishant Sharma/Mohammad Shami.


South Africa
Anrich Nortje is ruled out due to injury. Temba Bavuma, Duanne Olivier returns to the squad.

Probable 11: Dean Elgar (c), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier


Head to Head

Overall: IND - 14, SA - 15
In South Africa: IND - 3, SA - 10
At Centurion: IND - 0, SA - 2
Under Kohli's Captaincy: IND -
7, SA - 2


Pitch Report

Both KL Rahul and Duanne Olivier stated that the wicket is expected to start slow, then quicken up a bit as the game progresses and then slow down again towards the end. Pacers should enjoy the conditions as the fast bowlers enjoy swing as well as bounce in South Africa. The test batting average on centurion in the last five games is below 27 so big scores are not expected on this wicket and pacers should enjoy the conditions.



Key Players


  • Virat Kohli will be the most important batsman for India in this game and the series as well. He was the highest run-scorer in the test series in 2018 scoring 286 runs in 3 games at an average of 47.76. Virat scored a brilliant 153 at Centurion when both sides met each other last time on this ground. His recent form hasn’t been up to his standards but Kohli is an all-time great and knows how to bounce back.
  • Jasprit Bumrah made his test debut in South Africa in 2018. He did exceptionally well picking 14 wickets in 3 games at an average of 25.21. Bumrah is one of the best bowlers currently in all three formats and with conditions assisting pacers, Bumrah will be one of the most vital players for India.
  • Ravichandran Ashwin will be a key bowler for India despite the conditions not favoring spin. Ashwin currently, is arguably the best spinner in the longest format and his record away from home has been phenomenal. He hasn’t played much in South Africa but is in great form with the ball and will be a very important player for India in this series.


South Africa

  • Dean Elgar was South Africa’s second highest run-scorer when these two teams played each other in 2018. He scored 207 runs at an average of 41.40 in 3 games. Elgar is one of the main batters for the Proteas and he’s now the captain of the side as well and will look to lead the team from the front with the bat.
  • Quinton de Kock is another key player for the Proteas. He’s amongst the best wicket-keeper batsman around the world at the moment. De Kock has a very poor record against India in tests, especially at Centurion where he has scored just 2 runs in the only game he has played including a duck. The Proteas will expect him to do well this time.
  • Kagiso Rabada picked 15 wickets in 208 against India in 3 matches and was the highest wicket-taker of that series, Rabada will enjoy the conditions and will be a very tough challenge for the Indians with the ball.


Match Ups

Kohli vs Rabada: Average 81.5 with 2 dismissals
Kohli vs Maharaj: 143 runs for no dismissals
Kohli vs Ngidi: 51 runs for 2 dismissals
Mayank vs Maharaj: 121 runs for 1 dismissal
Rahane vs Rabada: 70 runs for
no dismissals
Rahane vs Maharaj: 27 runs for 2 dismissals

South Africa
Elgar vs Ashwin: Average 23.8 with 6 dismissals
Elgar vs Bumrah: 57 runs for no dismissals
Bavuma vs Shami: 17 runs for 3 dismissals
De Kock vs Bumrah: 24 runs for 3 dismissals
De Kock vs Ashwin: 65 runs for 3 dismissals
Markram vs Ashwin: 36 runs for 2 dismissals



Dream11 Prediction

Top Captaincy Picks:

  • Virat Kohli
  • Aiden Markram
  • Jasprit Bumrah
  • Kagiso Rabada

Team 1

Team 2

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