Team India eyes SA series win

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It is fair to say Team India is going through a difficult phase on and off the field. After a dismal showing in T20 World Cup, the team was embroiled in a controversy regarding BCCI’s decision to hand over the white-ball reigns to Rohit Sharma. Amid much furore, Team India embarks on a mission to achieve something that it has never managed to do before-win a Test series in South Africa.
This is India’s eighth tour to South Africa, and Test captain Virat Kohli would be hopeful that his team creates history. The Indian Test captain who averages in excess of 60 in South Africa would be a key player.
There are many youngsters who have shown commitment to the Test format. Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, and Shardul Thakur are a few names in this category.
Virat Kohli-led India has already started practicing at Centurion and had undergone quarantine in Mumbai before traveling to the rainbow nation.
Overall, India have played 20 Test matches in South Africa, winning just three, and in their last trip in 2018, lost the series 2-1. The teams who have defeated South Africa at home have been Australia, England and Sri Lanka. Kohli is aware of the challenge South Africa brings for his team while keeping the past happenings in mind.

Team India: Balanced side

Despite being labelled as firm favourites, India will still need to adapt to conditions and hold off a South African pace attack bolstered by the return of Duanne Olivier. Last time around, India were able to compete off the back of improved fast bowling and Pujara says they are now in an even better position when it comes to quick bowlers.
India have begun training in Johannesburg after arriving in South Africa last week for the all-important series. South Africa is being seen as the final frontier for the Virat Kohli-led Indian team that has consistently performed well overseas.
the kind of bench strength that India along with an experienced set-up adds to the team’s possibility of a maiden Test series win in South Africa.
Despite being the favourites, India will be without the services of Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel for the series.
The tour holds vital importance for the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara since they have not been able to perform at his best in recent times. While the 33-year-old continues to step up and delivery whenever the team has been in dire straits, the consistency has been missing.

Team India: Change in guard

With Rohit Sharma- the deputy of Virat Kohli ruled out of the three-Test series with a hamstring injury-KL Rahul has been named the new vice-captain.
The appointment marks a sharp rise for Rahul in the Test team. Having been kept out by the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal for two years, Rahul got his chance in India’s tour of England back in August this year and immediately impressed with a tight 84 in the opening Test in Nottingham.
Another thing that could work in India’s favour is many of their squad members have recently played red-ball cricket. India hosted New Zealand for a two-match Test series in late November and early December, while Hanuma Vihari and back-up opener Priyank Panchal were part of India A’s shadow tour to South Africa. The hosts, though, last played a Test in June, against West Indies in Gros Islet. While Pujara didn’t dwell too much on that advantage, he said it was nice that the players were together recently.