South Africa vs India, 1st Test Preview: Live stream, session times, team news

Date: Friday 5 January – Tuesday 9 January.

Time: 10:30 (SAST)

Venue: Newlands, Cape Town.

Live Stream & TV: SuperSport 2 (South Africa), Sony Ten 1 & Sony Ten 3 (India), Sky Sports Main Event (UK).

Overview

India, the world’s number one Test team, are in town and ready to face South Africa.

After months of boring board room wrangling over dates, fixtures and who knows what else, we finally have a three-match Test cricket series to get our teeth into this summer.

The less said about the Proteas’ two-day, Boxing Day Test blitz of hopeless Zimbabwe the better.

Slightly more instructive for home fans were the two Test thrashings of Bangladesh last September and October.

Heavy runs and confident bowling aligned for stand-in skipper AB de Villiers’ side to wipe the floor with the men from the subcontinent.


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But Bangladesh’s Asian neighbours are a different prospect entirely.

Virat Kohli’s men haven’t lost a series since a 2-0 defeat in Australia back in 2014/15.

They come to the Cape off the back of a 1-0 series victory over Sri Lanka on home turf in November and December last year.

But South Africa holds vastly different conditions to those found in India.

Proteas’ swing king Vernon Philander has even described it as “a totally different ball game,” so the tourists should bring their tennis rackets and golf clubs, just in case.

Dale Steyn is back in the South Africa squad following a year out after shoulder surgery, but he is likely to be unwrapped later in the series with long-term fitness the priority.

Best buddies De Villiers and Faf du Plessis will also team up for the first time in yonks, as the Proteas approach something like full strength just in time for the visit of the world’s best.


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India have doubts over the health of Ravindra Jadeja, who has been under the weather.

Ravichandran Ashwin will likely play as the sole spinner if Jadeja doesn’t recover in time.

Shikhar Dhawan is fit for consideration at the top of the order following an ankle complaint.

Pitch

Who knows.

Cape Town’s worst drought in decades has left people scraping around for shower water, never mind preparing the perfect cricket wicket.

The grass covering a day out from the toss is not an unusual sight and neither are a few cracks lurking from wicket to wicket.

Expect less pace than in Tests two and three at Centurion and the Wanderers, as well as a regulation amount of turn for the spinners later on.


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The weather is set fair with sunshine, light winds and temperatures in the 20s (celsius).

All apart from day three (Sunday) that is, with showers and a brisk north-westerly breeze expected throughout.

Head-to-head

South Africa Test match wins: 13

India Test match wins: 10

Draws: 10


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Predicted XIs

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aidan Markram, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (c), AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Morne Morkel.

India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohamed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.

Session Times
Morning: 10:30-12:30

Afternoon: 13:10-15:10

Evening: 15:30-17:30


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