Having won the ODI series by 2-1, India will next lock horns with South Africa in a two-match Test series beginning from Tuesday, December 26 at the SuperSport Park, Centurion. The two-match affair will be a part of World Test Championship Cycle 2023-25 and crucial points will be up for grabs by both sides. The series will also mark the return of captain Rohit Sharma, who will be seen on the field for the first time since ODI World Cup 2023.
Notably, India are yet to win a series in South Africa in eight attempts and will be eager to conquer their final frontier this time around. Ahead of the series, former South Africa cricketer AB De Villiers feels it’s India’s best-ever chance to win a series in South Africa as they have a good pace attack despite not having Mohammed Shami.
“Indian team has arrived in South Africa with its best ever chance (to win a series). For the first time they have got fast bowlers, who can bowl ‘the line’ and not just hit the length. India have been coming for many years but very few of your fast bowlers were line bowlers. But now you have Bumrah and Siraj. Yes, I agree that Shami not playing makes a massive difference. But Siraj and Bumrah are bowlers who can bowl line, whereas South African bowlers bowl from off to leg stump,” De Villiers was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Virat Kohli returns home due to family emergency ahead of first Test
Meanwhile, ahead of the series, star India batter Virat Kohli has returned home due to a family emergency, however, he’s expected to be back in time for the first Test. If Kohli fails to make a comeback, it will be a big blow for India as they have an inexperienced batting line-up with only captain Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja having prior experience of batting in South Africa.
India are currently on the top of the points table in WTC Cycle 2023-25 with one win from two matches having a points percentage of 66.67%. On the other hand, South Africa will be playing their first game in the current cycle.