The 1st game of the 2-match Unofficial Test series between India A and South Africa A will be hosted by Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.
The match starts at 9:30 AM local time (IST) (4:00 AM GMT).
The South Africa A tour of India moves into the 2-match unofficial Test series against India A after the completion of the 5-match unofficial ODI series. The home team dominated the One-Day series hosted by Kerala’s Greenfield stadium by winning it 4-1 margin. Even the one game they lost was due to the high revised DLS target that went it to reserve day. Despite all these, India lost by four runs that too from a winning position.
The unofficial Test series kick starts on Monday where India A will be led by young Shubman Gill. The Indian team consists of quite a few players in line to make their Test debut. Alongside Shubman, the keeper KS Bharat and pacer Mohammed Siraj have been impressive in the recent past. They will be up against the Proteas A team which is led by Aiden Markram. Half of the side was involved in the unofficial ODI series.
Rain was a frequent visitor at the Greenfield Stadium during the unofficial ODI series. The number of overs in each game got decreased by every passing match. However, the first two days of this match is unlikely to be interrupted as weather forecast suggested clear skies. Thunderstorms are predicted for the 3rd and 4th day where we could see play getting start and stop.
The Greenfield Stadium hosted only one first-class match – Between Jharkhand and Kerala in 2017. A grand total of 25 wickets out of 31 fell in the game were picked by the spin bowlers. Even during the unofficial ODI series, the venue was on the slower side and assisted spinners.
Jalaj Saxena added as cover for Krishnappa Gowtham on the eve of the match.
Probable Playing XIs:
Shubman Gill (C), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Anmolpreet Singh/Ricky Bhui, Vijay Shankar, Ankeet Bawne, KS Bharat (WK), Shivam Dube, Jalaj Saxena/K Gowtham, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Siraj, Tushar Deshpande.
Bench – Jalaj Saxena/K Gowtham, Shardul Thakur.
South Africa A:
Aiden Markram (C), Pieter Malan, Eddie Moore, Zubayr Hamza, Heinrich Klaasen (WK), George Linde, Wiaan Mulder, Senuran Muthusamy, Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Piedt.
Bench – Theunis de Bruyn, Lutho Sipamla, Khaya Zondo.
This series will be a crucial one for Shubman Gill who is one big knock away from an Indian Test call-up. Mohammed Siraj has amazing numbers for India A as he picked up 63 wickets at an average under 20 in only 12 first-class matches. Zubayr Hamza has scored close to 4000 first-class runs at an average of 50.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain – Shubman Gill, George Linde, Shivam Dube, Jalaj Saxena/K Gowtham
Vice-Captain – Mohammed Siraj, KS Bharat, Senuran Muthusamy, Heinrich Klaasen
George Linde could well have a great game with the track likely to assist the spinners. The talent pool in Indian bowling could help KS Bharat claim good number of dismissals. He does score a 30-40 odd runs on consistent basis and could be useful as vice-captain.
Suggested Playing XI No.1 for Fantasy Cricket:
Keeper – KS Bharat
Batsmen – Aiden Markram, Zubayr Hamza, Shubman Gill (C), Ankeet Bawne
All-Rounders – George Linde (VC), Shivam Dube, Senuran Muthusamy
Bowlers – Lungi Ngidi, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Siraj
Suggested Playing XI No.2 for Fantasy Cricket:
Keeper – KS Bharat (VC), Heinrich Klaasen
Batsmen – Shubman Gill, Zubayr Hamza, Ruturaj Gaikwad
All-Rounders – Shivam Dube (C), Wiaan Mulder, George Linde
Bowlers – Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Siraj, Dane Piedt
Jalaj Saxena will come into playing XI if Krishnappa Gowtham is not well. The pitch assists the spinners and Saxena will be a useful addition. Whoever gets into playing XI can be picked as captain too.
Ricky Bhui might play ahead of Anmolpreet Singh as Bhui is not in the squad for the 2nd Test.
South Africa’s Theunis de Bruyn didn’t play any game during the ODI series. There is no news about whether he is available for the Test series but is not included in Dream11 yet.
India A is expected to win this match with the weather permitting the play.
*Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.
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