Even after, eventuate as visitors in the country of tuff competitors; South Africa had proved themselves as one of the best cricket team in the cricket history by winning T-20 and even the One-Day International against India. But, now itâ€™s time to move towards the important battlefield the Freedom Series of Four tests where team India is waiting and excited to show their best performances.
Since, from Thursday 5 November, the first Test of India against South Africa is going to be on fire in the PCA Stadium in Mohali. During 2015, no team has played such five-day cricket. South Africa has played three Tests on paper but one and half in reality, having lost six out of 10 days to rain in Bangladesh. Likewise, India has played five Tests, but lost three out of five days in the sole Test against Bangladesh to rain.
This Test series is an opportunity for young captain Virat Kohli to prove his leadership after the 'Cool Captain' M.S. Dhoni and his Brigade failed in T20 and ODI's as well. This series is Virat's debut as captain in his motherland India which will be an excitement for him and curiosity for his fans to see him as Captain in White.
While, even with a new captaincy the same problem of team selection remains as headache. There are many questions about batting order and fast bowling despite the switch to five-day cricket.
India's batting will be dependent on the top order with lot of pressures on the openers. Shikhar Dhawan's form in the first ODI series was a concern, but his recent record in Test cricket is were good and therefore, it seems that India will neither tamper with their opening partnership.
Meanwhile, as seen in Sri Lanka Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma played musical chair. Cheteshwar Pujara, who made hundred as an opener in Third Test Series against Sri Lanka, should be ideally in playing XI but nobody knows how, as Kohli prefers five or four bowlers and an all-rounder as a tricky strategy.
Rohit proving himself to India's form batsman during limited overs we can expect that Pujara will sit aside even after scoring hundreds in South Africa against South Africa. While, Rahane has earned right to bat where he is comfortable. It won't be easy for the batting line aganist South Africa's pace attack where Dale Steyn and co. proves the team as best in the world cricket.
While, with Ishant Sharma missing from the Test, onus will be on Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Bhuneshwar Kumar to make a new ball talk against South Africa and try to take wickets in the initial stage. However, it might not be a worse idea for India to go with three spinners. If they decide to play an extra batsman.
South Africa struggled against spin in ODI's, so it would be a bid strategy of India as winning formula in this Test. Either way, the team will need a seaming all-rounder, which means Stuart Binny should see some action.
However, predict R Ashwin to lead a attack and Kohli will give him the chance. As, South Africa team has endangered due to his comeback which would be a strength for Indian Team. "Ashwin is as tuff spinner, no doubts. We have played well against his spin in T20, but still it's difficult in Mohali to play against his spin where peach supports spin. We will never underestimate his bowling and will build a strong strategy to play against Ashwin's spin", the inform batsman of South Africa Du Plessis said in a conference.
South Africa team didn't show greater outwings in the only warm-up match against Board of President's XI in Mumbai. While, De Villers will be a great obstacle in front of India in these five-day Freedom Series, as his pressure of captaincy off his shoulders in the Test format he will concentrate on his batting. While, Hasim Amla will lead the visitors in this Test.
Hence, it will be memorable and full of excitement Test series for both the Teams and a great oppurtunity for the young Test captain Virat Kohli of India to prove on his debut in motherland and win the series in Mohali as well as the hearts in huge the cricket fans.