India vs South Africa test matches in South Africa has always been a sad history for the Indian side so far without a test series victory in Proteas. It is not surprising that India has never won a test series in South Africa so far. But it will be surprising if they don’t win it this time. This Indian team which is in South Africa right now has the potential to fight back and if they win, they can prove their mettle-ness which they have shown in the home season last year.
South Africa got 5 fiery fast bowlers in Chris Morris, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel (4 currently as Steyn removed due to injury in the First Test) who can bowl rockets and bullets every time of the day. And their batting line-up got more strength with the comeback of De Villiers back into the test team. They also got world-class Hasim Amla and Faf Du Plessis surrounded by the new sensations Dean Elgar, Quentin De Kock and Temba Bavuma.
So here we are to discuss, what is rightly expected from the Indian Team in the South African tour? Let us dive into it right away…
Positive Intent from the Fast Bowlers
Firstly, what makes me say the current Indian cricket team led by an aggressive captain, Virat Kohli, has the firepower to breathe through the well-built, dangerous looking South African team?
The last two times when India toured South Africa, they draw the 3 match series 1-1 and lost it closely 1-0 in 2013. Both these times India witnessed an improvement than the previous tours to the African Nation.
That improvement was majorly sketched by the much-improved intent from the Indian pacers Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
So this time around, India has a much better fast bowling line-up powered by the confidence of their skipper, Virat Kohli.
Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and the young Jasprit Bumrah in their current form and the pace they are bowling looks like the best ever fast bowling combination India has ever produced.
But what matters the most is the positive Intent from this bowling line-up supported by the Spin-duo Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Will they stay positive or put their steps back when the opponent batsmen move ahead?
Hope for the best…
Will the Indian Opener’s stay long?
Every time Indian team looked strong, especially when they travel out of Asia, their openers stayed long. At least one of the Opening batsmen should stay there for long to make sure India end up with decent scores.
Virender Sehwag in Australia in 2008 & Gautham Gambhir in South Africa in 2010 has shown before how important the role of Indian Openers in an overseas test.
With three openers in the side Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul in the side, India expects a lot from these openers. One of them at least should stay long along with the middle order batsmen to put up a fighting score.
If both the openers fell cheap, it will be a big task for the coming-in batsmen to recover the already confident over-flowing bowling opponents.
If India has produced world-class test batsmen, most of them played in the middle order.
If its Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the 2000s, it is Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara now.
This comparison might look hasty, but the role they have to play will always be the same.
It was Sachin Tendulkar, who came up with the most runs for India whenever the team needs him.
The duo of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara should carry on their heavy scoring form across the seas to make sure India is at the top.
Also, this tour will be challenging and decisive of the duo’s superiority in batting. At least by the fans.
Ajinkya Rahane’s role is as important as them. He will also play a decisive role along with Rohit Sharma if the top and middle order collapse.
Slips at Slips
This is a strict NO section!!!
Slips are a tricky position in fielding.
When it comes to slip-fielding what we need is more responsiveness than athleticism.
A lot of great fielders have failed in slip fielding before as it needs a different set of skills.
Rough and big palms, ability to go low as possible, timing the jumps perfectly and moving swiftly both the sides.
Indian fielders except a very few couldn’t master the slip fielding, especially the current players.
Fitness and injury problems & rotation of players pushed India to try different players at the spot. And that leads to a poor show with our fielders missing around 50 catches in the last two years in the Slips alone.
Catches win matches, also they lose you matches if you miss some. Also, it can put down the bowlers’ confidence, when you miss the catches off them.
India should make sure they don’t miss any. Will they? let’s wait and observe.
Lower-Order Batting – A life-saver !!?!!
Making this a final point doesn’t reduce its priority.
The value added by the lower-order’s batting scores is so critical in the low-scoring games, which we can expect a lot in these conditions.
It is true that India’s lower order batting has improved much in the last two years with Saha, Ashwin, Jayant Yadav and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar are onto some good scores.
But they have never been tested in conditions like this before.
They could be more than a supporting factor. Depth in batting is always a winning factor in test matches as every run scored is crucial.
India playing South Africa after a sucusseful home season of Cricket. This series is not going to be as easy as the Indian boys enjou=yed in the home season. But still, the are hardly going to sit back and watch South African players running wild over them.
This team of Virat kohli has players who can come back strong and give back hard whenever required. It is going to be a different series for South Africans as they will be facing this tougher Indian side in their home land. And this series is going to be evenly poised, hopefully.
Lot is expected from the Indian players. We will have to wait and see how they deliver.
Now keep reading, Why Virat Kohli is the captain India needs right now.
Hope you like the read.. Comment below on what you think as a chance for India to win this series!!!
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