It was a couple of years ago when South Africa toured India for a series. Back then, India was making merry before the tournament began, while South Africa worked hard on Indian pitches. Surprisingly, India won the matches turning the series as almost an embarrassment to South Africa. The only thing the visitors could do after losing was to blame the pitch curator of turning the ground to India’s favor. It is still quite complicated to believe if it is possible for curators to curate the pitch turning it to some favorite side in a match.
This time, India is touring South Africa for a long two months to play all formats. Ahead of the Test series, the first leg of the tour, team India were seen toiling in nets. The objective, however, is not so much of cricketing, but it was more about getting accustomed to home conditions in South Africa. It is certainly because team India is through its best form with an unbeaten stretch of more than a year. In last three years, India lost only a two Test matches becoming the top ICC Test team at present. In contrast, South Africa seems ailed with its player’s injuries and inconsistencies. All India need to do is to get acclimatize perfectly to the alien condition.
India is ready to play South Africa with its best ensemble. With players like M Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, the team’s confidence is further enhanced with skipper Virat Kohli, presently at heights of his form. Meanwhile, Vernon Philander is now boosting its attack to tackle India. The player need only two more wickets to reach the tally of 100 Test wickets at home. The team is yet to decide between Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. The home team is also bringing a new batting attack mixing up all-rounder players. But the concern here is the uncertainty, as the ensemble is untested so far.
Apparently, Faf du Plessis, the Protease captain, rightly made a point that the current Test series might be the last time his old squad play against India, the skipper is excited as in the last tussle, the team did not have what they expected. On the other side, India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar is “very very confident” on the preparation of his team. He said the team is in a ‘positive state of mind’.
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