Team previews, squads, betting odds, tips and predictions for South Africa tour of India 2019, starting from September 15 till October 23.
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Virat Kohli will be leading India's 15-man squad for the three-match T20 international series. In their quest of finding back-up bowling options ahead of next year's T20 World Cup in Australia, the home team has rested two of its frontline seamers in Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar along with the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini form India's inexperienced pace attack while Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya and Washington Sundar make up the spin department. MS Dhoni continues to remain out of action while all-rounder Hardik Pandya returns to the side.
India have named a 15-man squad for the three-match test series versus South Africa and have retained majority of the players who were part of the test squad that toured the West Indies recently. Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the T20I series, has now been ruled out of the tests with a minor stress fracture of the back. Umesh Yadav has been called up as his replacement. The selectors have dropped KL Rahul and have shown faith in young Shubman Gill who has received his maiden test call-up. Rohit Sharma, who did not feature in the test series against the Windies, has been confirmed as an opener for this series.
India will look to their stalwarts - Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan - to make strong contributions with the bat. Rahul and Rohit are both amongst the world's top ten batsmen in T20 cricket and so there will be high expectations on them. Captain Kohli, who has 21 half-centuries under his belt, will look to add to that tally while Shikhar Dhawan is another attacking batsman who can score big at the top of the order.
India's T20 bowling unit is devoid of the big names and so it will be up to the likes of Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Hardik and Krunal Pandya to take wickets and apply pressure on the Proteas. Navdeep finished as the best bowler in the recent T20I series against the West Indies with five wickets at an economy of 7.09 and he will be backed by the home team to strike in the powerplay. Krunal Pandya, with his left-arm spin, will also pose a threat to the South African batsmen in these conditions.
Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma are the big guns in India's batting unit and it will be mainly up to them to ensure that their team gets into a position of strength. Kohli is the world's second-best batsman in test cricket and the skipper will be expected to lead from the front. Rahane was very impressive in the West Indies where he finished as one of the leading run-scorers.
With Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of the series, India's bowling will rely on the likes of Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma who had an excellent test series against the Windies in which he took eleven wickets. Ashwin has taken the most wickets in the format from the current squad and he is likely to trouble a lot of South African batsmen in these conditions.
India have won eight, drawn one and lost only two of their last eleven T20 international series. After the 1-1 draw in Australia last year, they suffered back-to-back series losses - against New Zealand 1-2 and against Australia 0-2. India's most recent T20I assignment came only last month against the West Indies whom they swept 3-0.
India have been dominant in test cricket over the past few years. They have won four of their last five series and their last three in a row. Since suffering an embarrassing 1-4 loss in England, India have beaten the West Indies 2-0 at home and Australia 2-1 in Australia at the start of this year before sweeping the Windies again in their latest test assignment last month.
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Deepak Chahar, Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Navdeep Saini, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, K Khaleel Ahmed, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar
Virat Kohli (c), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill
Quinton de Kock will skipper South Africa's 14-man T20I squad while Faf du Plessis, who has been left out of the game's shortest version, will be in charge of the team's 15-man squad for the test series. The touring side has named Rassie van der Dussen as the vice-captain for the T20 series while Temba Bavuma has been appointed Faf's deputy for the tests. Wicketkeeper Rudi Second, who was initially named in the test squad, has been ruled out of the tour after suffering an injury during a practice match while playing for South Africa A. The selectors have roped in Heinrich Klaasen as a like-for-like replacement. All-rounder Chris Morris has made himself unavailable for the entire tour. Anrich Nortje, Temba Bavuma and Bjorn Fortuin are three fresh faces in the T20I squad.
Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller are the big guns in this South African batting line-up. Hendricks topped the runs charts and cracked a couple of fifties in the recent home series against Sri Lanka and he will be expected to carry that form into this series. Quinton de Kock will probably open the batting and he can be very destructive if not dismissed early on in his innings. Rassie van der Dussen has been very consistent of late while Miller is a very dangerous batsman down the order.
South Africa will depend mainly on Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Junior Dala and Tabraiz Shamsi to deliver the goods with the ball. Phehlukwayo is amongst the world's top ten T20I bowlers and he was the leading wicket-taker against Sri Lanka with seven wickets. Rabada will be leading the team's pace attack and he could trouble the Indian batsmen with the new ball.
In terms of batting, South Africa will look to their stalwarts in Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma to play the big innings. Quinton de Kock is coming off a great T20I series. The wicketkeeper scored 52 and a match-winning 79 in the respective matches and the team will want him to carry that form into test cricket. Faf du Plessis is one of the most experienced batsmen in the side and the captain hit a couple of fifties in South Africa's last test series against Sri Lanka.
With the ball, the Proteas will need their strike bowlers Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi to be at their best. Rabada is the second-best test bowler in the world and it will be crucial that he provides the early breakthroughs with the new ball. Philander has the ability to swing the ball both ways and he too will be a big threat for the Indian batsmen.
South Africa have been impressive in the shortest format of the game over the past couple of years. They have won six of their last nine T20 international series including the previous four on the bounce. The Proteas played their most recent series earlier this year in March. It was a series of three matches against Sri Lanka at home which they won 3-0.
South Africa have had plenty of success of late in the game's longest format. They have won five of their last seven test series albeit most of them have been played at home. The Proteas, however, have lost the last two series they have played away from home - they lost to England 1-3 in 2017 and against Sri Lanka 0-2 last year. Their most recent test series came against Sri Lanka at home in February which they lost 0-2.
Quinton de Kock (c), David Miller, JJ Smuts, Temba Bavuma, Dwaine Pretorius, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Anrich Nortje
Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy , Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Heinrich Klaasen
India and South Africa have played five T20I series so far with the former winning three of those and the latter two. The Proteas emerged victorious 2-0 in the three-match series the last time they toured the sub-continent in 2015. India, however, have a 2-1 series win in the most recent series which was played in South Africa last year in February.
South Africa have the upper hand when it comes to head-to-head record against India in the longest format of the game. The two countries have played 13 test series against each other till now with the Proteas winning seven of them and the hosts only three. South Africa emerged victorious 2-1 in the most recent series between the two sides which was played last year in January in South Africa.
India are overwhelming favorites to win the three-match T20 international series at 1.36 with Betway and 1.40 with Bet365. South Africa are the bookmakers' underdogs for this series and they are being offered at a much higher price of 2.87 on Betway and 3 on Bet365.
India start off as overwhelming favorites to win this three-test series at very short odds of 1.16 with Bet365. South Africa are huge outsiders with the bookmaker for this series at a very high price of 9. A drawn test series is up at 8.50 with Bet365.
India and South Africa have both been performing very well lately in the twenty-over format. They are currently placed very close to each other in the ICC T20I rankings; while the hosts find themselves fourth, the tourists sit one place above them at the third spot. India have a very strong record at home and have lost only one of their last seven series here. However, they had suffered a whitewash against Australia in their previous home series and that will make the South Africans more optimistic. Having said that, India defeated the Proteas in their own backyard last year and they should find it easier this time around while playing in their home conditions. South Africa are coming off four successive series wins but we don’t think they will be able to continue their winning run in India.
South Africa will be taking plenty of confidence with them after thrashing India in the final T20I and denying them a series victory. Both are top-ranked teams in the format - while the hosts are currently the best test team in the world, the visitors are third in the ICC test rankings. Both have been performing very well and so one can expect this to be a closely-contested series. However, beating India in their own backyard will not be an easy task for the Proteas. India have a mighty record at home; they have won each of their last ten series here and they last lost a series way back in 2012 - against England. Even though the Virat Kohli-led side has lost its ace paceman Jasprit Bumrah due to injury, it still looks formidable enough to overpower South Africa in this test series.
Back India to beat South Africa in the test series at 1.16 with Bet365.
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