The series between India vs South Africa highlights a mouth-watering contest from the onset of 2018. India is slated to play a three-match Test series in South Africa starting from 5th January, along with six ODIs and three T20s.
Over the years, the real assessment of the Indian Test squad has actually been playing in South Africa and Australia. We must not forget England as well, where overcast condition and seaming deliveries create a nightmare for the batsman.
Lush green outfield, fast and bouncy pitches, and a challenging opponent, this is how Test cricket is defined in South Africa, Australia and England. It is for these very reasons Indians regard the Test victories at Adelaide 2003, Johannesburg 2006 and Perth 2008 as the finest ever in recent years.
India vs South Africa Highlights – After a successful Home Season next 18 months will be the real test
All eyes are on the upcoming Tour of South Africa in early January, with the first match set to begin on January 5, 2018. India will play hard and look to win their first ever series in South Africa. India first toured the rainbow nation in 1992-93, but has failed to win a complete series against the Proteas.
The selectors have gone for a mix of youth and experience with Jaspreet Bumrah being included in the Test squad for the first time. The squad also features Parthiv Patel as a reserve keeper.The team squad looks quite promising and with good home seasons against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Along with our captain, all the players are at the top of their game.
India vs South Africa Highlights – End of the Apartheid Era and India’s noble Gesture
From early 70’s, South Africa as a nation was facing internal turmoil due to anti-Apartheid movement. However, India as a sovereign country was one of the biggest supporters of anti-apartheid campaign of native blacks of South Africa. Due to the 200 year long oppressive British rule in India, we were, and are the one country which had a zero tolerance policy against apartheid.
South African cricket legend Graeme Pollock, who amassed over 20,000 runs in domestic cricket, played his last Test in 1970. He could play only 23 Tests in his career and due to the Apartheid agitation. This was a hefty price, which Cricket South Africa and its citizen paid for tyrannical policy of apartheid.
India was the first cricket playing nation to take the lead. As an epic goodwill gesture, BCCI invited the South African team for an ODI home series that took place in November 1991.
This historic moment was the first international cricket series for South Africa after decades of boycott.
India vs South Africa Highlights – Proteas tour India for the first time ever
The South African side of 1991, was led by SA veteran Clive Rice. He was 42 years old during that series. Clive Rice was a known face in international as well as county cricket because of his flamboyant stint with Nottinghamshire in English county cricket.
In the very first ODI, Indian fans witnessed the brutal bowling attack of a young Allan Donald. He was ferociously quick and alluring to watch. Donald in the first ODI claimed a 5-wicket haul and almost pulled off the game for his side.
India playing at home, won the first two ODIs, but South Africa were quick to bounce back and registered an emphatic victory in the third ODI.
India vs South Africa Highlights – India’s becomes the first country to tour of the Rainbow Nation
The South Africa cricket board reciprocated the Indian gesture and we became the first country to play a Test series in South Africa. It was a huge moment for the rainbow nation, as it was after two decades a competitive international match was hosted there.
When the Indians landed in Durban, they received a rousing welcome. The team was driven from the hotel in open cars. Thereafter, the team met world icon Nelson Mandela.
The first South African tour was a disaster as India was decimated both in the Tests and the ODIs.
Historically, the men in blue always struggled in Tests played in South Africa during the nineties. Touring again in 1996-97, the Indians were bulldozed by the energized Proteas. In the Durban Test of the 1996 tour, India lost their twenty wickets for just 166 runs.
India vs South Africa Highlights – Facts and Insights
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar captained India in the 2000 Test series against South Africa. During that tournament, the infamous match fixing scandal involving South African captain Hansie Cronje was uncovered.
One of India’s most destructive batsman, Virender Sehwag made his Test debut against South Africa in 2001. He scored a maiden Test century on his debut.
India’s two glorious cricket moments of the recent times have an uncanny South African connection.
At the 2003, ICC world cup hosted by South Africa, India managed to reach the finals after 20 years.
In 2007, India lifted the inaugural ICC World T20 played in SA. This was M S Dhoni’s first tournament as Indian captain.
In 2011, when India lifted the ICC World Cup, it was under South African coach Gary Kirsten.
Hashim Amla, one of the finest batsmen of this generation is of Indian origin. He has his roots in Gujarat. After more than 50 Test matches and a Test average of 50 plus, Amla is already a legend.
India vs South Africa Highlights – Selectors and Coach make their point
As mentioned earlier, the selectors have gone for a mix of youth and experience for the 2018 series. Right-arm pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s ability to bowl with variety is the reason he was selected for the longest format. Along with him, pacers Ankit Rajpoot, Basil Thampi and Avesh Khan would also travel as net bowlers.
“Umesh and Shami are hitting the 140 mark, but they still swing the ball. We also have Bhuvi who can swing the ball either way. We have included Bumrah who has variety. Ishant is there always and Hardik Pandya gives us the allrounder option, “said Chief Selector MSK Prasad.
“So there are five different varieties of bowlers that we have picked,” he concluded.
India has never won a series in South Africa, but coach Ravi Shastri is determined to rewrite the history books.
“Nothing changes the way we approach the SA series. For us all oppositions are the same, all opponents have to be respected and every game is a home match.” Said Ravi Shastri.
“The belief is there. We are going there and we will treat South Africa like we treat any other opposition we have played against. There will be respect, but we will go there to win,” he further stated.
The Indian team has registered a record ninth straight series win, after drawing the pollution-marred third and final Test against SL in Delhi. The men in blue are now level with Australia.
A series win in South Africa will see them create a new world record of 10 consecutive Test series victories.
Coach Shastri credited the team’s current form to the tour of Australia in late 2014. Although India lost that Test series, the coach asserted that giving the Australians a tough fight in their backyard gave the boys immense confidence.
India vs South Africa Highlights – Indian Players to watch out for
India vs South Africa highlights the performance and strength of our test squad. The three Indian players to watch out are:
Cheteshwar Pujara is the backbone of India’s batting order. He had a impressive year with the bat, notching 1140 runs with four centuries in 11 Test matches. The lad from Gujarat will look to replicate the performance in South Africa. Pujara’s average of 44.42 in India vs South Africa highlights a better record comparing his average of 38.52 in all away Tests.
His performance in South Africa will boost his confidence for the tour-packed 2018 season.
The India vs South Africa highlights another fact and that is the golden form of India’s captain. Kohli is the No.1 ranked batsman in ODIs and T20Is. In Test’s he is trailing behind Steve Smith at No 2 position.
His good performance against the Proteas will aid India to mark a series win in South Africa. Also, it will pave way to a great away season in 2018.
Kumar has been in splendid form at home and is set to lead the Indian pace attack along with Ishant Sharma in SA series. Though only 19 Tests old, he has shown a lot of maturity with the new ball.
This will be his second tour of South Africa. However, he did not get a game in the previous one. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will look to make good use of the opportunity and give his team early breakthroughs to gain the upper hand in the series. His best figures of 6/82 have also come abroad, when he rattled the English batting at Lord’s.
In conclusion we would like to add that India vs South Africa highlights an exciting Test, ODI and T20 series. 2018 is the real test for Indian cricketers, as major tours will determine their No 1 Test status.
But as of now, beyond cricket, let’s enjoy and relive the eternal affability between the two giants of world cricket, India and South Africa.