Team India is set to take on South Africa in the first Test of three-match series on Saturday. Virat Kohli and Co. will begin their quest to win the maiden Test series on South Africa soil. It will be a big challenge for Test captain Virat Kohli after getting sacked as the ODI captain earlier this month. All eyes will be on the 33-year-old as he will also look to end century drought as his last international ton came way back in 2019. Apart from Kohli, senior batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will also be under pressure to get back to form after underwhelming performances in the past few series.
With injury crisis in the camp, there has been a lot of talk about India’s ideal XI for the opening. Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja are out of the series due to injuries. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal will most probably get the nod as openers as young Priyank Panchal is expected to wait longer for his Test debut. In the middle-order, Cheteshwar Pujara will get a chance to prove himself. While Kohli is going to bat at number 4. The big problem for India is to pick between Shreyas Iyer and Rahane. Iyer scored a sublime century on his Test debut while Rahane has been scoring at below 20 average this year. Meanwhile, Hanuma Vihari might also get a chance looking at his form in recent India A tour of South Africa. While, Wriddhiman Saha is expected to make way for Rishabh Pant in the XI.
In the bowling department, India will surely go with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami while the place for the third pacer will be up for grab between Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj. Several former cricketers and critics have backed Siraj to get a chance after his impressive show last year. Another big task for the team management is to pick between Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin. India might need Ashwin so that they could give ample rest to the pacers. While Shardul brings an X-factor as a batter which will help India in the lower-order batting.
Pick Your Best India XI For 1st Test Against South Africa
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