India’s tour to South Africa has been reduced to three tests from the scheduled four but will see an additional One-day International which makes it a total of six matches and three T20I’s. India will begin their campaign from January 5, three days later than the usual start of the festive fixture.
South Africa’s initial plan of holding a Boxing Day test against India was impeded after India decided to reach the country in the last week of December and wanting some time to get used to the playing conditions including a practice match.
However, the Proteas will host Zimbabwe for a four-day day-night test match starting from December 26 in Port Elizabeth. Cricket South Africa (CSA) is waiting for ICC’s approval for labeling this fixture as a test.
The confirmation of India’s tour comes after a lot of conjecture when the tour would be finalized and whether it’s possible for South Africa to host 10 tests matches this summer which will be possible if ICC gives a march on order for the Zimbabwe test. CSA is quite optimistic about ICC decision when the officials meet at Auckland in October.
“The time constraints faced by India have forced us to reduce the Test matches to three while increasing white-ball cricket to six ODIs and three T20I matches,” Haroon Lorgat, the CSA CEO, said.
India will reach South Africa on December 28, four days after their last match against Sri Lanka. The men in blues are scheduled to play a two-day practice match at Paarl starting from December 30.
“It’s a very difficult one. I’ve got some sympathy for the BCCI itself in trying to work out which dates. Of course, we are trying to have [the Test] as early as New Year start as possible. They are looking at travel arrangements, dates when they finish the last fixture. I wouldn’t put our team on a flight the very next day after they complete a game. You need a day or two at home. So these are the logistics we are grappling with,” Lorgat further added.
Cape Town will host the match of the test series while the venues for the remaining tests have not been finalized yet. Considering a large turnout of Indian fans In Durban, Kingsmead has a high chance of getting one of the two tests. Wanderers in Johannesburg or SuperSport Park in Centurion to host the remaining Test