THE TIMES OF INDIA | Dec 26, 2023, 12:07:02 IST
IND vs SA 1st Test Live Updates: Who needs 450 overs or full five days of play to get a decisive result in a Test match? Both hosts South Africa and Rohit Sharma’s India would like to think that way as rain is expected to either halt or wash out multiple sessions in the first match of the two-Test ‘Friendship Series’ at SuperSport Park in Centurion from Tuesday.
Signs of desperation to win will be evident in both camps. For India, the African country remains the only place where they have not won a Test series. Even Sri Lanka, who have never ever won a Test match in India, have won a series in the Rainbow nation – 2-0 in 2019. South Africa won’t be playing much Test cricket in this cycle and hence winning this series could prove vital for their chances to make it to the World Test Championship match at Lord’s in 2025.
If the hosts are unsure about the availability of pacers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, India will have to choose between pacers Prasidh Krishna and Mukesh Kumar. The overcast conditions have almost ensured that India will go with four pacers, including Shardul Thakur, and prefer left-armer Ravindra Jadeja over offie R Ashwin as lone spinner.
KL Rahul’s eagerness to add value to the team by extending his wicket-keeping role to Tests means S Bharat will miss out. India can play an additional pure batsman in Shreyas Iyer and also play five bowlers due to Rahul’s role.
With opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill and Iyer not having experience of playing Test match in South Africa, things may turn a little tricky for India against Rabada, Ndigi, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee and Marco Jansen.