The 1st Test of the three-match series between India and South Africa will be played at Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.
The match starts at 9:30 AM local time (IST) (4:00 AM GMT). This game will be live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD. Live Streaming will be available on Hotstar.
India and South Africa will lock horns in the first Test on Wednesday in Visakhapatnam. This series marks the start of the ICC Test Championship for the visitors and clearly, the task is going to be tough for them in the coming three weeks. India already have 120 points to their name having beaten West Indies by 2-0 away in the recent series. They are also at the top of the points table at the moment and are the favourites to win this series as well.
As far as the team combination is concerned, Virat Kohli has confirmed that Wriddhiman Saha will play ahead of Rishabh Pant in this series. Rohit Sharma will open the innings along with Mayank Agarwal despite failing to impress in the practice game.
For the visitors, it might be a toss-up between Lungi Ngidi and Vernon Philander to make it to the final XI. Keshav Maharaj and Dane Piedt are likely to be the two spinners with Senuran Muthusamy also in the wings. Aiden Markram is in great form and the onus will be on him and Faf du Plessis to make an impact.
The weather looks good for the game to take place. There is a little bit of rain in the forecast on the second day but that shouldn’t be much of a hindrance. To start off, the sun will be out on Wednesday to welcome both the sides and the temperature will hover around 30-31 Degrees Celsius according to AccuWeather.
Only a solitary Test match has been played in Visakhapatnam before which was between India and England in 2016. The spinners took 25 wickets out of 40 in that game and once again, expect them to dominate. The team winning the toss is expected to bat first which is a no-brainer.
Injury and Availability News:
(Will be added when there is an update)
Probable Playing XIs:
Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.
Bench: Umesh Yadav, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav.
Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Faf du Plessis (C), Temba Bavuma, Zubayr Hamza, Quinton de Kock (WK), Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi/Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt.
Bench: Lungi Ngidi/Vernon Philander, Heinrich Klaasen, Senuran Muthusamy, Anrich Nortje.
Without even an ounce of doubt, pick Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in your teams. Both of them scored centuries last time they played at a venue and generally plunder runs in home conditions.
This is a home ground for Hanuma Vihari and averaged 60 in first-class cricket before getting a national call-up. He will surely score big batting at number six.
Keshav Maharaj is a brilliant spinner and he will definitely pick wickets.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain Options: Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravi Ashwin
Vice-Captain Options: Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – Quinton de Kock
Batters – Virat Kohli (C), Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram
All-Rounders – Ravi Ashwin (VC), Ravindra Jadeja
Bowlers – Mohammed Shami, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – Wriddhiman Saha, Quinton de Kock
Batters – Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis
All-Rounders – Ravi Ashwin (C), Ravindra Jadeja (VC)
Bowlers – Ishant Sharma, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada.
To pick Kagiso Rabada in the fantasy team, one of Pujara, Kohli, Du Plessis or De Kock has to be removed which is a risky move.
Ashwin and Jadeja picked 54 out of 70 wickets when last time South Africa toured India. It wouldn’t be a bad punt to make them C and VC.
India are expected to win the first Test and take a 1-0 lead.
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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