The three-match Test series India vs South Africa Test 2019 is all set to start from Wednesday, October 2. A lot is riding on how the two teams fare given the ICC World Test Championship will be on. It’s going to be a cracking affair between two teams that are strong Test sides.
With points on offer, besides the bragging rights, both teams will be wanting to gain the maximum from India vs South Africa Test 2019. Interestingly, there are several aspects to offer. From players keen to perform to their abilities to dictating against the spin show on sub-continent pitches and seizing the sessions, fans will be up for some good brand of cricket.
Both sides have got players that can put in a fight and be match-winners. A lot of focus is also on these names which make things interesting. Ahead of the three-match series, we look at key players from each side who can have maximum impact in the matches and provide the much-needed momentum.
India vs South Africa Test 2019: Players to watch out for
This series is massive for someone like Rohit Sharma, who has been handed the opportunity to open the batting in India vs South Africa Test 2019. The team management is patient with Rohit and wants to back him. The need of the hour for a world-class batsman like Rohit is to play his natural game upfront. One needs to see the shine of limited-overs in Tests as well.
However, he needs a bit of time and this is a big chance for him to get some gloss in his Test career which has been a start-stop one. Rohit will be challenged by the new-ball Proteas bowlers. They will hope for a bit of swing early on to trouble the Indian opener.
For him, it’s a challenge that he needs to accept with both hands give India a solid start. On his day, the senior batsman can provide the cushion, someone like a Virender Sehwag did in Tests.
In his short Test career, Hanuma Vihari has shown many facets of his game. He is versatile, can put a price on his wicket, looks to be positive and has the ability to construct handy partnerships in the middle order. So far, Vihari has played all of his Tests outside India.
He comes into the series as the in-form batsman. He had a superb series against West Indies recently and showed his worth with some tremendous consistency and fluency on offer. Now he will be much familiar in home conditions and being the solid player that he is, expect the right-handed Vihari to amass runs aplenty.
Against the Windies, Vihari was the top run-getter in the two Tests, collecting 289 runs at a stunning average of 96.33. Those knocks will serve him a world of happiness and he can talk aloud with the confidence gained. He is a key player in that number six slot and will need to bring his A-game against a strong SA attack in India vs South Africa Test 2019.
When it comes to Test matches at home, Ashwin has been real steel for Team India. He has bossed the scenario here with some fine bowling display over the years. In 38 Test matches at home, the senior spinner has accounted for 234 Test wickets under his belt. His average of 22.68 stands out.
Ashwin will be raring to have a crack at the Proteas and make his presence felt at home. The conditions, as usual, will suit him. He has been in red-hot form in County cricket for Nottinghamshire and that will have a huge bearing in his game. Also, a determination to be the number one choice in the side as a spinner will serve as extra motivation.
In the 2015 series against South Africa at home, Ashwin had claimed 31 scalps to claim a heroic performance. The Indian team will require a similar approach from the veteran. He adds so much dynamism in the game. Both with the ball and bat, we all know the credentials the player holds. He is a crucial member of this site.
24-year-old Aiden Markram made his Test debut in 2017 against Bangladesh and since then has established himself as a solid opener in the longest format of the game. In 17 Tests, Markram averages a healthy 43.80, having registered four centuries to date. However, this series will be immensely challenging for Markram.
This is his first series on Indian soil and things could get pretty difficult. He is an excellent player of fast bowling and looks to have a bearing early on. He can take on the Indian pacers and show his influence. However, having said that, Markram will face challenges on surfaces that are set to be spin-friendly.
Indian spinners Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be relentless and apply a lot of pressure on Markram in India vs South Africa series 2019. In the recent match against Board President’s XI, Markram made 100 in just 118 balls while he also scored a century in Mysore a couple of weeks back when he was part of South Africa A squad. That can help him mentally.
There’s little doubt that Proteas pace sensation Kagiso Rabada is the most important bowler for his team in the upcoming Test series. He had made his Test debut in India as a 19-year-old raw talent in 2015. On that tour, Rabada played three Tests and picked just two wickets.
However, four years on, Rabada has lived up to his potential and has risen as one of the best in the world. In 37 Tests, he has picked 176 wickets at a phenomenal average of 21.77. He is South Africa’s best option to cause issues with the new ball. He can test the Indian top-order immensely.
Conditions will once again play a huge role in the upcoming Test series, however, there’s a lot of responsibility on Rabada. He will be wanting to have a similar influence like former SA legend Dale Steyn. Can Rabada grow further in stature and that influential like a Steyn on Indian surfaces? We will find out.