India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli-led India on cusp of surpassing Australia to create new world record
India will be looking to topple Australia to set a new world record when they take on South Africa in the first match of the three-match series that gets underway on Wednesday at Dr.YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam. Virat Kohli's men have become a force to reckon with in the longest format of the game at home and have lost only one game in India since the start of the 2013 season.
India is heading into the South Africa series on a confident note after whitewashing West Indies across formats in the Caribbean and drawing the three-match T20I series 1-1 against the Proteas. India defeated West Indies comprehensively 2-0 in the two-match series last month with a number of positives. The hosts will be aiming to continue their fine form against Faf du Plessis's men at home.
India stand on the verge of surpassing Australia to create a new world record in Vizag. India are currently on an unbeaten streak of ten Test series at home equalling Australia's feat. If the Kohli-led side manages to defeat South Africa in Vizag in the opening Test of the upcoming three-match series, India will create a new world record of most Test series wins at home on the trot by any team - 11.
India have defeated the likes of Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa at home in Tests and have thoroughly dominated oppositions in their own backyard. India hammered South Africa 3-0 in their last meeting in the longest format at home. The hosts will be looking to repeat the result in the upcoming series against a young and relatively inexperienced South African side.
India have named a formidable playing XI for the first Test in Vizag opting for Rohit Sharma to open the innings with Wriddhiman Saha replacing misfiring Rishabh Pant behind the wickets. Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also been included in the playing XI after being left out in the two-match series against West Indies in August.
In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma will be spearheading India's pace attack along with Mohammed Shami. Meanwhile, the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari will form a strong middle-order with captain Kohli and Rohit at the top.