India look to reinforce their supremacy in familiar conditions against South Africa
- The South Africans had the most humbling loss when they toured India in 2015-16.
- South Africans were thrashed 0-3 in the four Test series by the Indians.
- This was also South Africa's first overseas series loss since 2006.
VISAKHAPATNAM: Touring India is never easy for any team and the South Africans are well aware of the perils that lie ahead of them in the three-match Test series. The first of them will be played at the Dr YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium here from October 2.
Before that series, the South Africans had stood their ground well and matched the Indians quite well. In 12 Tests played prior to that in India, the teams had won five each. In fact, the visitors had beaten India 2-0 in a two-Test series in 1999-2000. They also had drawn the 2008-08 and 2009-10 series.
#KingKohli 📸 #INDvSA https://t.co/ZFoQ1z6ZaJ— BCCI (@BCCI) 1569836273000
But what will rankle the South Africans most is the humiliation they suffered four years ago. Several members of that squad are touring this time around and could, obviously, be carrying a lot of baggage. However, the visitors seem to be more prepared this time around. "We are not going to harp on about the conditions, we pretty much know what to expect," opener Aiden Markram had remarked a couple of days ago.
"Preparation going into this series is gonna be massive and each little bit that we can take going into the series will help," he had said. The tall right-handed batsman has done his preparations well and that is reflected in the two centuries he has got in recent weeks.
Realising that their batsmen will be up against the wily Indian spinners, the South Africans have employed the services of Amol Mazumdar. The former Mumbai batsman has been one of the most prolific scorer in domestic cricket and his inputs will be worth its weight in gold for the visitors.
The only concern for the Indians, on the other hand, will be the Rohit Sharma experiment. The team management is keen that the Mumbaikar fits into the new role of an opener as making a world-class batsman like him sitting in the dressing room is rankling them.
The other minor irritant is Rishabh Pant's lackadaisical attitude. The Delhi wicketkeeper has been under the scanner for his poor judgment of strokes. Added to it is the fact that he still has to measure up behind the stumps. Will the team stick with Pant or will Bengal stumper Wriddhiman Saha get the nod for this game?
#TeamIndia pacers @MdShami11 & @ImIshant steaming in here in the nets. #INDvSA https://t.co/39XOcWYFOx— BCCI (@BCCI) 1569833483000
The hosts will also miss the services of injured Jasprit Bumrah and the pacer has grown leaps and bounds in the last few seasons. Filling his shoes will not be an easy task for the other pacemen.
It also remains to be seen in offie Ravichandran Ashwin will get to play. Ashwin, who last played against Australia in December last year, has been warming the benches for quite some time as other spinners have spun ahead of him.