India look to create history with a 'stung' captain at Centurion vs SA

India look to create history with a ‘stung’ captain at Centurion vs SA

On the one side, a team playing in its backyard, in its fortress. On the other, stands a team that managed to breach one in Australia at the start of this year.
 
So far this year, South Africa and India have played a total of 18 Tests. South Africa have played only five of those, with the last one at home coming against Sri Lanka in January. Between then and now, South Africa cricket has gone through a challenging phase, even divisive space; inquiries into systemic racism have been centrestage this year, with not even VIP names, including some associated with the current team, being spared, as the push for justice reaches a vital speed.
 
India, on the other hand, have been a part of four massive Test events in a year during which they had two legs of the IPL as well as a T20 World Cup to play in. To think that there might be a few burnt out players in that squad wouldn’t be a wrong thought. They’re carrying a middle-order that has had no significant time to sort out issues they’ve been taking into every series this year, and are packed with some names who have had their share of off-field problems.
 
South Africa are a team in rapid transition, and the Indian team entering a new era with this series. Both teams contain bowling line-ups to win Tests in these conditions, and both come with batting line-ups that are not at their peak before the series begins. India have been better at Tests than South Africa over the last few years – and have particularly reached new heights since their 2018 tour – but South Africa haven’t lost at Centurion since 2014; it is hard to specifically say that any one of these sides has the upper hand going into the first Test, and that is an exciting contest ahead of a big series.
What the Captains said:
“They are ranked No. 1 in the world. You can’t not give them the credit for what they have done over the last while. So I’m not going to sit here and say they are not the best side in the world, because there’s a ranking system for a reason. But the mere fact that we’re playing in our backyard gives us the upper hand going into the series” – Dean Elgar ahead of the Centurion contest
 
“The pitches can be challenging because of the tennis-ball bounce. In Australia the pitches are fast and bouncy, but here it can be spongy in the first couple of days. Then it starts to quicken up. When I played [in South Africa] last time, the wicket was a bit difficult and you had to understand and adjust according to that. That becomes a challenge for both batters and bowlers” – KL Rahul(Vice-captain) shares some inside information 
 

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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