Following a closely fought T20I and challenging ODIs, South Africa and India engage in intense red-ball cricket in the ICC World Test Championship.
The inaugural test at SuperSport Park Cricket Stadium on December 26, 2023, promises a Boxing Day spectacle, offering both pride and valuable championship points.
With a history of fiercely contested series, both teams aim to showcase their cricketing prowess and secure crucial points in the championship race.
The SuperSport Park Cricket Stadium in Centurion is set to witness a battle of skill and strategy as the two cricketing giants lock horns on this historic Boxing Day encounter. The top bookmakers in India have great odds for the Test series.
In the last 7 matches, Rohit has an average of 49.09.
The betting tip is...
Rohit Sharma to score 49.5+ runs in the Test match
Temba Bavuma is ready to take the white jersey back and lead the Proteas again. Another player who will be back from a break and eager to go full throttle against the Indian batters is Kagiso Rabada.
Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram will open the batting, followed by captain Bavuma, de Zorzi, and Keegan Peterson. Heinrich Klaasen is not available, so either Tristan Stubbs or Kyle Verreynne will have an opportunity to wear the whites.
Rabada, Mulder, Jansen, and Coetzee are the four fast bowlers expected to be on the team; Maharaj is the only spinner.
Kagiso Rabada (37 wickets in the past 8 matches) and Dean Elgar (509 runs in the last 10 matches) are expected to be the bowler and the batter to watch out for, respectively.
Predicted Lineup: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Keegan Peterson, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma (c), Kyle Verreynne (wk), Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, and Gerlad Coetzee
The two most crucial players for the men in blue, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, are expected to return and participate in the Test series. To everyone's astonishment, KL Rahul will be the starting wicketkeeper and play in the middle order.
In this series, Shubman Gill is expected to bat at number three, with Rohit Sharma opening the inning with Yashasvi Jaiswal. After a lengthy absence, Shreyas Iyer will also rejoin the test team.
India will probably field two spinners and three pacers because Ashwin and Jadeja are both very important members of this test team. Shardul Thakur might provide Bumrah and Siraj with backup bowling since Shami isn't available.
The batter to watch out for is Virat Kohli (633 runs in the last 10 matches), whereas the bowler to look for is Ravichandran Ashwin (47 wickets in the last 8 matches).
Predicted Lineup: Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammad Siraj
In their previous Boxing Day test clash in 2021, India emerged victorious over South Africa. Having secured a 3-2 advantage in the last five red-ball encounters, India faces the challenge of handling formidable bowlers on bouncy pitches, where they will showcase their peak performance.
The outcome of the test match will hinge on the team that successfully claims all 20 wickets, shaping the narrative of this anticipated contest.