South Africa VS India news: Indian bowlers will test young South African line-up, says Allan Donald

India has toured South Africa seven times and their best result was a 1-1 draw in 1992-93, a three-match Test series that heralded Proteas’ return to international cricket.

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah's training session ahead of the Test series against South Africa; Credit: Twitter/@BCCI
By Sreejith C R | Dec 24, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Bowling legend Alland Donald has opined that the young South African batting line-up will be tested against a quality Indian bowling attack in the three-match Test series starting on December 26 at SuperSport Park, Centurion. India are yet to win a Test series in the rainbow nation and this time, they will fancy their chances against a young South African side. And Donald feels that the team that bats better will win the series. Meanwhile this will be team India’s first overseas assignment under new head coach Rahul Dravid.

India has toured South Africa seven times and their best result was a 1-1 draw in 1992-93, a three-match Test series that heralded Proteas’ return to international cricket. Meanwhile this Indian team has been doing exceptionally well in foreign tours over the last few years, having won Test series in Australia and England and they are now looking to break their jinx in South Africa.

This South African team is a bit inexperienced, especially in the batting department after the retirement of some key players in the last couple of seasons. However, the Proteas’ bowling line-up is still very strong. The likes of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Beuran Hendricks and Keshav Maharaj are still very strong in home conditions.

Meanwhile the loss of pace bowler Anrich Nortje due to injury is a big blow to the home side. The 28-year-old is their leading bowler in Tests this year. He has taken 25 wickets from five Tests at 20.76, six ahead of his nearest tem-mate, Keshav Maharaj.

India’s bowling attack has done wonders in the last couple of years. The biggest strength of the Indian team is the depth in both bowling and batting department. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ishant sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin are more than capable of exploiting the conditions in South Africa.

“Both teams line up really well, both have strong bowling line-ups and that will mean the batting on both sides will be tested,” Donald told Cricket South Africa.

India will be without opening batsman Rohit sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who are undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), in Bengaluru. Despite their absence India still has a strong squad  with a world class batting line-up led by Virat Kohli. However, the same cannot be said about the hosts who nonetheless will have the home advantage.

South Africa undoubtedly has bowlers who can take 20 wickets: Donald

Skipper Dean Elgar and wicketkeeper batsman Quinton de Kock are the two most experienced batters in the South African squad and the onus will be on them to take the baton.

“Our batting has lost some key players in the last couple of seasons. There’s no hiding from the fact that it’s a young line-up and they will be tested by the Indian attack,” Donald said.

The 55-year-old former South African pacer added that “In the last few seasons, we haven’t scored enough runs and that will be the challenge. If we can put the runs on the board, we undoubtedly have the bowlers who can take 20 wickets.”

In the previous tour, India lost the three-match Test series 2-1. South Africa won the first Test in Cape Town by 72 runs. It was followed by a 135-run victory in Centurion. But the series ended with India winning the third match by 63 runs. It was only India’s third away win against the Proteas in 20 attempts.

Meanwhile the current boss Dravid knows a thing or two about winning in the Rainbow nation as he led India a memorable Test win at Johannesburg in 2007. And it was their first win on South African soil after 14 years. 

The first Test will be followed by matches at The Wanderers, Johannesburg (January 3 – 7) and at Newlands, Cape Town (January 11 – 15). The two teams will also play a three-match ODI series, starting January 19 at Boland Park, Paarl.

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