India start their mission in Africa as the first test of the three match test series starts from Friday in Cape Town.
The history of subcontinent teams is quite abysmal against South Africa in their den, as India have only managed a couple of wins out of their 17 test encounters. India won there for the first time in 2006 and put up a valiant show in their last two tours.
It is a Virat Kohli led side that has been high on confidence so far but their overseas record has to improve, and the pitches of South Africa will put the batsmen under a strict scanner. For the home side, they had a torrid year of 2017 but have won their last test against Zimbabwe comprehensively. They have gone with full artillery for the first test as Dale Steyn is also been included in the squad. India’s middle order will have to contribute along with the top order to boost up their chances and the bowlers will have to provide with the new ball.
India will be missing Ravindra Jadeja as the left arm spinning all rounder is out due to a viral illness. That will be telling for the visitors as it may prompt the team management to play a solitary spinner and go on with three front line pacers. Also a fit again Shikhar Dhawan is another boost for the Indian side as he has a good record in bouncy pitches.
Proteas have included Dale Steyn in the squad but it has to be seen whether he makes it to the starting eleven. Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander are the trio fast bowlers who are expected to play and Quinton De Kock will get a nod ahead of Bavuma.
Probable Line Up:
India: Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Saha, Pandya, Ashwin, Kumar, Shami, Yadav
South Africa: Markram, Elgar, Amla, du Plessis, De Villiers, De Kock, Morris, Philander, Maharaj, Rabada, Morkel
The match will be telecast live on Sony Ten 1 from 14.00 IST for the Indian viewers.