After a great home season in 2017, Team India will look to start fresh as they face a strong South African line up in the first test match at Newlands, Cape Town. Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, Team India has won 9 successive test series. The real challenge for Virat Kohli starts now as a captain.
The record for team India in South Africa has been poor winning only 2 test matches. This Indian test team has the entire basis covered with good batsmen, top quality pacers, good spinners. With Shikhar Dhawan looking fit for the first test it will be interesting to see who will be an opening partner with Murali Vijay.
Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane will be the middle order batsmen who have decent records in South Africa. The team management has to think about number 6 batsmen between Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya. Indian batsmen have to play the first 20 overs well with the pitch having bounce and pace. Wriddhiman Saha would be a wicketkeeper.
Ravichandran Ashwin would be the lone spinner with the pitch not helpful for the spinners on first 3 days. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav are 3 pace bowlers with conditions helpful for pacers. The Indian pace bowlers need to strike with the new ball.
On the other hand, South Africa will look to continue their dominance over India. Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar has done well as openers. Their real test would be against Indian pacers. Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Captain Faf du Plessis, T Bavuma and Quinton de Kock would form a real threat to help the hosts post a massive total.
Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada who can create trouble with line and length, would lead the South African attack in the first test. Young Keshav Maharaj would be lone spinner in the squad to contain runs.
Indian Probable XI: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane/Rohit Sharma/ Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha ( WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav
South Africa Probable XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (C), T Bavuma, Quinton de Kock ( WK), Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Rabada, Keshav Maharaj
It promises to be an exciting series with India look to create history in the first test. The pitch at Cape Town should help the pace bowlers.