The Indian cricket team is all set to tour South Africa later this month for a full series comprising of 3 Test matches and 3 ODIs. This will be the first tour for India in the Rainbow Nation after a gap of three years and fans are eagerly awaiting some exciting cricket between these two top sides. Let's take a detailed look at the upcoming India tour South Africa cricket series.
Schedule of the series
The India tour South Africa cricket will kick off with a 3-India vs South Africa match Test series starting from December 28th. The first Test will be played at SuperSport Park in Centurion followed by the second Test at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg from January 3rd-7th. The final and deciding Test of the series will take place at Newlands in Cape Town from January 11th-15th.
After the conclusion of the Test rubber, the two India vs South Africa squads will then face off in a 3-India vs South Africa match ODI series. The first ODI will be played at Paarl on January 19th followed by the second ODI at Cape Town on January 21st. The third and final ODI will be hosted by Newlands on January 23rd before the Indian team returns home.
India's squad for South Africa tour
The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked a strong 18-member squad for the upcoming Test series under the leadership of Rohit Sharma as per India South Africa match time table. Veteran batter Virat Kohli returns to the Test squad after missing the recent Bangladesh series. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have been dropped to make way for youngsters.
The Test squad also includes top-order batters KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer. Rishabh Pant will be the first-choice wicketkeeper. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will lead the spin attack. Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur form the pace attack.
For the India South Africa match time table of the ODI series, Rohit Sharma will continue to lead the side. The ODI squad sees the return of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. Top young batters Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad have received their maiden call-ups. Yuzvendra Chahal and Deepak Chahar are picked as the two specialist spinners and pacers.
South Africa's squad for the series
South Africa have announced strong squads for both the Test and ODI series under the leadership of Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma respectively. Some of their star players like Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen will be available for the full tour. So it will be enjoyable to watch India South Africa match result.
The Test squad includes experienced top-order batters Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen. Youngsters like Ryan Rickelton have received a call-up. Keshav Maharaj will lead the spin attack. Duanne Olivier returns to bolster the pace attack.
For India vs South Africa cricket schedule ODIs, Temba Bavuma will continue leading the Proteas. Star all-rounder David Miller returns to the side. Young wicketkeeper batter Kyle Verreynne has cemented his place. Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj will handle the spin duties.
India and South Africa have faced each other in 50 Tests so far, with South Africa leading the head-to-head record by 19-13. In their last meeting in 2018, South Africa won the three-India vs South Africa match series 2-1.
In India vs South Africa cricket schedule ODIs, the two India vs South Africa squads have played 110 matches against each other. India currently leads the head-to-head record by 57-48. However, South Africa won their last ODI series in India by 5-1 in early 2022.
Key players to watch out for
Virat Kohli: Among the best of India South Africa players. The former India captain will be eager to bounce back strongly after enduring a lean patch. Kohli loves playing in South Africa and has scored plenty of runs here in the past.
Kagiso Rabada: The leader of South Africa's pace attack, Rabada is always a big threat with his ability to bowl fast and swing the ball both ways in India South Africa players. He will be key to South Africa's chances.
Rishabh Pant: The flamboyant wicketkeeper-batter has grown in stature as a match-winner in red-ball cricket. If he can replicate his heroics of the Australia tour, it will serve India well.
Quinton de Kock: One of the cleanest hitters of the India South Africa players, de Kock can take any bowling attack apart on his day. His form and runs at the top will be crucial for South Africa.
Jasprit Bumrah: India will bank on their pace spearhead Bumrah to provide crucial breakthroughs during key moments. His ability to bowl yorkers makes him a threat even on flat wickets. So, everyone is waiting for India South Africa match result.
However, it will be interesting to watch the India South Africa match result.
Weather and pitch conditions
The India vs South Africa cricket schedule during the southern hemisphere summer months of December and January. This time of the year generally sees hot and humid weather across most parts of South Africa. However, being a coastal country, rainfall is also common during this period. The ODI series is slated to take place around mid-January. This time marks the height of summer but also heralds the onset of rainfall in South Africa. There is a real possibility of rain interruptions during the ODI matches. Heavy downpours could see games being shortened or even called off, depending on the intensity of rainfall.
As for the pitches, the surfaces in South Africa are known to be fast and bouncy when fresh, assisting the pace bowlers. The Newlands track in Cape Town and the Wanderers strip in Johannesburg are regarded as the paciest in the country. Seam bowlers are able to generate good pace and bounce off the pitch in the first few days of a Test match. However, as the match progresses into days four and five, the pitches tend to slow down considerably. The pace and bounce eases off the surface.
At the same time, the cracks start to open up on the pitch due to the wear and tear of five days of play. This brings the spinners into the game. Finger spinners and slow left-arm orthodox bowlers can get the ball to turn and grip from these cracks. Additionally, batting also becomes relatively easier in the fourth innings of a Test match. The pitch behaves less aggressively for the batters and scoring is compounded as the team batting last knows the target. This can make chasing fourth innings totals quite achievable if enough time is left in the game. Pitch conditions can influence the cricket betting tips the most. So, it should be taken into account while betting.
This India tour South Africa cricket series is expected to be a closely fought contest between two top international sides. In India vs South Africa series both teams are well-equipped to beat each other on their day. However, India might start as the slight favourites given their recent form and success in overseas conditions. In the Test format, India have been performing exceptionally well in foreign conditions over the last few years. Under the leadership of Virat Kohli and now Rohit Sharma, India have secured Test series victories in Australia and England.
Their batting and bowling lineups in India vs South Africa series are well-balanced and equipped to succeed on fast and bouncy pitches. Players like Pujara, Rahane and Pant have experience of thriving in South African conditions as well. South Africa, on the other hand, are undergoing a transition phase under Dean Elgar's captaincy. While they have talented match winners, their inexperience against top teams could be a disadvantage. However, playing at home gives them the advantage of familiar pitches. But their recent form has not been great, which makes India firm favourites. In the ODI series too, India starts as marginal favourites.
The upcoming India vs South Africa series is one of the most anticipated clashes in the India Africa cricket calendar. Fans from both the countries eagerly await such a high-profile series between two top international sides. With the quality of talent on display, it is bound to be fiercely competitive. Indian fans will be hoping that Virat Kohli finds his lost form and runs scoring touch. Kohli is one of the greatest batsmen in modern India Africa cricket but has been struggling for over two years now. However, he has a superb record in South Africa.
Indian fans hope he can lead from the front like he has done many times before and help India win key moments with important contributions. Rishabh Pant will also be under scrutiny from the fans. He has grown immensely as a match-winner for India in Test India Africa cricket over the past year with some spectacular performances both with the bat and on the field. Indian fans will want Pant to continue his good recent form and play fearless knocks that can change the course of a game.
South African fans have high expectations from Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada. De Kock is arguably their best batsman and a vital cog at the top of the order. He has the ability to take any bowling apart on his day. Fans hope he can find consistency on this tour and give South Africa flying starts. Rabada leads their pace attack and fans expect him to trouble the Indian batting with his sharp pace and ability to pick wickets. This will help them to get selected in IPL 2024.
The India South Africa match time table promises a lot of competitive and exciting cricket. Both India vs South Africa squads are well-matched and it will be fascinating to see which side emerges triumphant in what is expected to be a closely fought series. Fans can't wait for the action to get underway later this month.