SA vs IND: 1st Test Preview – India’s best opportunity to conquer the African land

India will take on South Africa in the first Test of the two-match series on Tuesday, December 26 at SuperSport Park, Centurion. The visitors have been bolstered by the return of senior pros Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Jasprit Bumrah for the longest format with the crucial World Test Championship points at stake.

Notably, India has never won a Test series in South Africa in eight attempts. the Rohit Sharma-led side will be desperate to finally end their drought. However, the Proteas will once again pose a stern challenge to Indians despite an inexperienced batting lineup.

A similar squad in 2022 came from behind to beat them by 2-1. It crushed India’s hopes of conquering South Africa again. India would be wary of the Proteas challenge and will look to start their final frontier strongly.

On the other hand, the Temba Bavuma-led side will have the pressure of maintaining their unbeaten record. With enough match-winners in both teams, the contest promises to be an enthralling one for the fans who will hope for a competitive game lasting five days.

Pitch Report

Out of the last five Tests played at the venue, teams batting first have won thrice. The average first innings score has been 306. The highest target chased in the fourth innings in the history of the venue was 249 by England in January 2000. Heavy rains are predicted for Day 1 of the Test. While the pitch has a good covering of grass on top. With the cloudy conditions overhead on a green top, the conditions are nothing short of a nightmare for the openers. Hence the captain winning will look to bowl first and make full use of the favourable bowling conditions.

Probable Playing XI