The much-awaited two-match Test series between India and South Africa is set to commence on Tuesday, December 26, with the first game being played at Supersport Park, Centurion. As cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipate this clash of titans, let's dive into the history, pitch conditions, probable playing XIs, and head-to-head records of these two cricketing giants.
|South Africa vs India 1st Test Match
|Day3: SA won by an inning and 32 runs
|SuperSport Park, Centurion
|Date & Time
|Tue, Dec 26 - Dec 30, 01:30 PM IST
|SA opt to bowl
|Player of the Match
Day 3 Match Highlights
I Inning South Africa:
Third day, I session began as per schedule with Elgar and Jansen resuming their inning. Dean Elgar, after showcasing a remarkable performance with a score of 185 runs, unfortunately succumbed to Shardul Thakur's delivery as he was caught behind the wickets. Throughout his innings, Elgar faced a total of 287 deliveries and successfully struck 28 boundaries. Following his dismissal, Coetzee then joined Jansen on the pitch.
Gerald Coetzee was dismissed by Ashwin's delivery, caught out by Siraj, after contributing 19 runs off 18 balls with 2 fours and 1 six. Following Coetzee's dismissal, Rabada joined Jansen on the field. At this stage of the match, 100 overs had been completed and South Africa held a commanding lead of 147 runs. Jasprit Bumrah proved to be a formidable opponent for Rabada as he took his wicket after Rabada could only manage a single run from 9 deliveries. Burger then joined Jansen on the field.
Bumrah dismissed Burger for a duck after he faced 20 deliveries. Unfortunately, Bavuma injured his abs and did not get a chance to face any deliveries. On the other hand, Marco Jansen showed great resilience and remained unbeaten with an impressive score of 84 runs off 147 balls, including 11 boundaries and a six. Currently, South Africa holds a lead of 163 runs over India. Bumrah was the star performer with 4 wickets, followed by Siraj with 2 wickets, while Krishna, Shardul, and Ashwin each managed to take 1 wicket.
II Inning India:
IND were trailing by a margin of 163 runs when they began their second inning. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma joined for the opening partnership. Unfortunately, Rohit Sharma was dismissed without scoring any runs, having faced 8 deliveries from Rabada. Yashasvi Jaiswal also couldn't last long and was caught behind off Burger's delivery after scoring just 5 runs from 18 deliveries, with one boundary. Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli then came in to bat after both openers made their way back to the pavilion.
Shubman Gill showcased his batting prowess by scoring 26 runs off 37 balls with 6 boundaries, displaying his exceptional skills before being dismissed by Jansen's delivery. Following this, Shreyas Iyer stepped in to partner with Virat Kohli on the pitch.
Shreyas Iyer succumbed to Marco Jansen, losing his wicket after scoring 6 runs from 12 balls, including a boundary. KL Rahul, who hit a boundary and scored 4 runs off 24 balls, also fell victim to Burger's delivery and was caught by Markram. Ashwin, who had just joined Kohli on the pitch, faced only one delivery before becoming another victim of Burger's delivery. After that, Shardul Thakur joined Kohli on the field. Meanwhile, Kohli completed his half-century with an impressive score of 53 runs off 61 balls, consisting of 8 boundaries and 1 six.
Shardul Thakur also could not maintain his momentum and became the prey of Rabada's exceptional delivery. Prior to his departure from the field, Shardul managed to score a mere 2 runs from 8 deliveries, ultimately being caught out by Bedingham. After then, Jasprit Bumrah joined Kohli on the pitch.
Jasprit Bumrah was unfortunate to get run out on the fifth delivery by Rabada, resulting in him scoring zero runs. Following this, Mohammed Siraj entered the lower batting order and faced five deliveries. He managed to hit a boundary before being caught out behind the wickets off Burger's delivery.
Virat Kohli's innings came to an end when he was caught by Rabada off Jansen's delivery, resulting in the last wicket falling. Kohli displayed his exceptional skills by scoring an impressive 76 runs off 82 balls, including 12 boundaries and a six. The South African bowling attack was formidable, with Rabada taking 2 wickets, Burger claiming 4 wickets, and Jansen securing 3 wickets. The first Test match concluded on day 3 itself, with South Africa emerging victorious by an innings and 32 runs.
Day 2 Match Highlights
I Inning India:
The I session of second day began with a slight delay caused by the wet outfield. KL Rahul and Siraj stepped onto the crease. Despite not scoring any runs on the previous day, Siraj managed to score 5 runs off 21 balls today. Unfortunately, he was caught behind the wickets by Coetzee's delivery. On the other hand, KL Rahul continues to shine with an impressive score of 95* off 130 balls. After Siraj's dismissal, Krishna joined Rahul on the pitch.
KL Rahul showcased his exceptional batting skills by achieving a well-deserved century, scoring an unbeaten 101* runs off 133 balls. His innings included 14 fours and 4 sixes. However, after facing a few more deliveries, KL Rahul was bowled out by Coetzee's delivery. As a result, India's first inning came to a close at a total of 245 runs in 67.4 overs.
I Inning South Africa:
South Africa began their batting innings with openers Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar at the crease. Unfortunately, they faced an early setback when Aiden Markram was dismissed on the 17th delivery he faced. He managed to score 5 runs off 17 balls, including one four, before being caught behind the wickets by keeper KL Rahul off the bowling of Siraj.
By the 28th over of the match, South Africa had reached a commendable score of 100 runs with just one wicket down. Dean Elgar played a significant role in this achievement, scoring an impressive 65 runs off 99 balls, including 13 boundaries. Additionally, Zorzi contributed 24 runs off 57 balls, hitting four boundaries along the way. South Africa trails India by a margin of 145 runs at this stage of the game. Shortly thereafter, South Africa suffered the loss of Zorzi, who managed to score 28 runs off 62 deliveries before being caught by Jaiswal on the delivery of Bumrah. After then Petersen joined Elgar on the pitch.
Petersen's innings came to an abrupt end when he contributed just 2 runs off 7 balls before heading back to the pavilion. Bumrah bowled him out. Bedingham then joined Elgar on the pitch, who, on the flip side, achieved a well-deserved century. By the 50th over of the game, Elgar had scored an impressive 115* runs, elevating the team's total score to 198 runs. Bedingham added 36* off 53 with 3 fours and 2 six. At this point, South Africa trails Team India by 47 runs.
Bedingham was dismissed by Siraj when he scored 56 runs from 87 deliveries. Verreynne partnered with Elgar but couldn't maintain his position as he was caught behind by Krishna. He contributed 4 runs from 7 balls. Marco Jansen then joined the extraordinary Elgar. At the end of day 2, South Africa stands at a total of 256 runs, having lost 5 wickets in 66 overs, with a lead of 11 runs over India. Elgar (140*) and Jansen (3*) will continue their innings on day 3 tomorrow. Indian bowlers Bumrah and Siraj took 2 wickets each, while Krishna took one wicket.
Day 1 Match Highlights
I Inning India:
South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl. The first session of Day 1 began with the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal taking the field. After facing 14 deliveries, Rohit Sharma was caught out by Burger off Rabada's delivery while attempting a pull shot. He contributed 5 runs, including 1 boundary. Shubman Gill then joined Jaiswal on the pitch. On the other hand, Yashasvi Jaiswal, who had scored 17 runs off 37 balls with 4 boundaries, was caught behind by keeper Verreynne on Burger's delivery. Virat Kohli then joined Shubman on the pitch.
Shubman Gill made a contribution of 2 runs off 12 balls before being caught behind the wickets by Verreynne on Burger's delivery. Despite the umpire giving him a not out decision, the DRS review showed that his gloves were involved in the ball's passage.
Shreyas Iyer was dismissed after scoring 31 runs off 50 deliveries, including 3 fours and a six, when he was bowled by Rabada. Following his departure, KL Rahul joined Virat Kohli on the field. India's total score crossed the 100-run mark and reached 107 before Kohli lost his wicket. He scored 38 runs off 64 balls with 5 boundaries before being caught behind by Verreynne on Rabada's delivery. Shortly after Kohli's dismissal, R Ashwin joined KL Rahul on the field.
Ashwin, after scoring 8 runs with 2 boundaries from 11 deliveries, was caught out by Mulder on Rabada's delivery. Subsequently, Shardul Thakur partnered with KL Rahul on the field. As India surpassed the 150-run milestone and reached a total of 164 runs, Shardul Thakur unfortunately departed after contributing 24 runs from 33 balls, including 3 boundaries. It was Rabada who claimed his wicket as Elgar caught the ball.
After Shardul Thakur's departure, Jasprit Bumrah teamed up with KL Rahul and faced a total of 19 deliveries. However, he could only contribute 1 run being bowled out by Marco Jansen. Following this, Mohammed Siraj joined KL Rahul on the pitch. As the game progressed into the 3rd session of the day and reached the 55th over, team India's score stood at 191 runs with the loss of 8 wickets. KL Rahul's performance has been exceptional, scoring an impressive 53 runs off 88 balls, including 7 boundaries and 2 sixes.
KL Rahul had an impressive innings, scoring 70* runs off 105 balls, including 10 boundaries and 2 sixes. Unfortunately, rain interrupted the play, eventually calling an end to the day. Siraj faced 10 deliveries but was unable to open his account today. South African bowlers, led by Kagiso Rabada, displayed an exceptional performance by taking a five-wicket haul. Additionally, Burger and Jansen contributed to the team's success by taking 2 and 1 wicket(s) respectively.
The highly anticipated Test series between South Africa and India, comprising of two matches, is scheduled to kick off on Tuesday, December 26. The first game will take place at Supersport Park in Centurion. The match is set to begin at 1.30 PM IST.
India's Test Record in South Africa
India's Test record in South Africa has been far from remarkable. Out of the 23 matches played between the two sides on South African soil, India has managed to win only four, while suffering 12 defeats and settling for seven draws. In fact, South Africa has emerged victorious in all but one of the nine Test series played on their home turf against India.
During India's previous tour of South Africa in 2021-2022, they lost the red-ball series 1-2. However, they do have fond memories of the Centurion Test, as it was the only victory they secured in the previous series. KL Rahul's century in the first innings and Mohammed Shami's eight wickets steered India to a 113-run win.
Supersport Park Pitch Report
Fast bowlers are expected to have a field day at Supersport Park, as a green top is anticipated on Boxing Day. The pitches at Supersport Park generally start off on the slower side on the first day before quickening up over the next couple of days. As the game progresses, the bounce becomes inconsistent, making it challenging for batsmen. If rain interrupts play and the pitch remains under covers for an extended period, batting first could prove tricky.
Regrettably, the commencement of the series in Centurion may face a delay due to adverse weather conditions. The weather forecast for Day 1 predicts a high probability of rain (96%) and thunderstorms (38%) in Centurion. The day is expected to be predominantly cloudy, with intermittent rain and thunderstorms. The heavy rainfall is anticipated to start between 7 and 9 am local time, followed by intense afternoon showers.
The rivalry between South Africa and India in Test matches dates back to November 13, 1992. Since then, they have faced each other in 42 matches, with India emerging victorious in 15 and South Africa in 17. Ten matches have ended in draws. The most recent encounter between these two teams took place on January 11, 2022.
SA vs IND Playing XIs
SA Playing XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma (c), Keegan Petersen, David Bedingham, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada, Nandre Burger
Bench: Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Wiaan Mulder, Tristan Stubbs
Support Staff: Jean-Paul Duminy, Rory Kleinveldt, Rob Walter
IND Playing XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
Bench: Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Mukesh Kumar
Support Staff: Rahul Dravid, Vikram Rathour, Paras Mhambrey
The first Test between South Africa and India is scheduled to take place from Tuesday, December 26, to Saturday, December 30, with the match beginning at 01:30 PM (IST). The live broadcast of the match will be available on the Star Sports Network, and fans can also stream it on Disney+Hotstar.
This Test series is not only a battle for redemption but also an opportunity for both teams to secure crucial World Test Championship points. With an intriguing pitch, talented players on both sides, and the desire to dominate, cricket fans can expect an exhilarating contest between India and South Africa. Stay tuned for all the action from the Supersport Park as the battle for supremacy unfolds.