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SA vs IND | Coetzee Over Mulder, David Bedingham To Debut; Here's South Africa's Likely Playing XI For 1st Test

image-lql02j0fGerald Coetzee will be an important part of the South African Team in the first Test (Source: x.com)

After leveling the T20 international series 1-1 (3) and losing the one-day internationals 1-2 (3), South Africa now lock horns with Asian giants Team India in a two-match Test series. The first game is scheduled to take place on Boxing Day, Tuesday, December 26, 2023, at SuperSport Park, Centurion. The second game will be played on Wednesday, January 03, 2024, at Newlands, Cape Town. 

The South Africans will be captained by Temba Bavuma and they also welcome back pacers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi into the setup. The Proteas have never lost a Test series against the sub-continent giants on home soil and they would like to keep their record intact for this short series as well. 

Veteran Dean Elgar will be playing his last Test series as he is set to retire from international cricket. Elgar along with Bavuma and Aiden Markram will look to shoulder the responsibility of the side in the batting department.

Ahead of the opening Test, here is a look at South Africa's Probable XI against India:

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Openers: Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram

Experienced campaigner Dean Elgar will open the innings alongside Aiden Markram. As mentioned above, this series will be the last one for the former as he is set to bid adieu to international cricket thereafter. The former has an average of 37 which includes one century and four half-centuries against Team India. The left-handed batter will look to make his last series a memorable one with some big runs under his belt. T20 skipper Markram is a regular opener for the Proteas in this format. He has a poor record against India in Tests and will look to improve it in this series.

Middle-Order: Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma, David Bedingham

Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma and David Bedingham will form the middle-order for the Rainbow Nation in this game. Left-handed batter de Zorzi had a solid ODI series as he ended it being the highest run-getter. The 26-year old struck 228 runs in three innings with one ton and one fifty as he is the man in form for the home side. Skipper Bavuma will hope to get back amongst the runs after a poor World Cup campaign. The right-hander will have to lead his side from the front by the dual responsibility of captaining and scoring runs. 29-year old David Bedingham looks set to make his Test debut ahead of Keegan Petersen.

All-rounders: Kyle Verreynne, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj

Kyle Verreynne, Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj will be a part of the lower middle-order for the South Africans. 26-year old Verreynne will be handling the wicketkeeping duties for his side. The right-hander has one century and two fities to his name in the longest format of the game. Jansen is the deisgnated all-rounder in this Protea line-up. He has picked up 19 wickets in six innings at an average of 16.47 against Rohit Sharma and his side in this format. Maharaj will be the lone spinner in this side. He has become a regular feature in South Africa's Test team for some time now. The 33-year old will also be featuring in his 50th Test match.

Bowlers: Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi

Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi will be the frontline seamers for the Proteas. Coetzee had a terrific World Cup campaign and then also got picked up by Mumbai Indians for the upcoming Indian Premier League 2024 edition. The speedster has played two Tests before in which he has snared nine scalps. Experienced campaigner Rabada will lead the pace attack along with Coetzee and Ngidi. Rabada has 44 wickets to his name at an average of 24.56 against Team India. He is the experienced amongst all of the seam bowlers in the side. Ngidi averages 19.29 against the Asian giants in the Whites with the best bowlnig figures of 6/39. He will look to provide support to the other three pacers.