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IND vs SA 1st Test | Playing 11 Prediction, Cricket Tips, Preview & Live Streaming

image-lqjf6qskRohit Sharma during India's West Indies tour (AP Photos)

Among the countries that have achieved greater feats in bilateral series away from home, India, without any doubt, stand out as the best in the last decade or so. Yet, one monumental accomplishment remains unfinished, and that is conquering South Africa in whites in their own backyard. 

The Rohit Sharma-led side will look to break the jinx as the first of the two-match Test series is ready to commence on December 26 at SuperSport Park, Centurion.

IND vs SA 1st Test: Team Previews


The availability of Virat Kohli for the Boxing Day Test was a topic of much discussion for some time. The talismanic batter returned home due to a family emergency just before the red-ball tie, but to assure everyone, he came back in time for participation. 

Having lost 12 out of 23 contests and won only four, India's overall Test record in South Africa is very underwhelming. They had the golden opportunity to end the unwanted reputation last time around, having emerged victorious in Centruion in the series opener. However, they failed to carry on the momentum in the next two matches, after which Kohli decided to step down from the captaincy.

image-lqjcucf9Virat Kohli has been in sublime form across formats (X.com)

Enthusiastic Indian supporters are eager to see KL Rahul, the wicketkeeper, as another intriguing development in this series. While Rahul performed admirably with the big gloves in the recent ODI World Cup, nothing compares to the challenge of keeping the stumps in red-ball cricket.

India have plenty of firepower from top to bottom, with Rohit leading the batting unit and Jasprit Bumrah spearheading the bowling department. The likes of Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj, and Ravindra Jadeja hold the key as well, while it will be interesting to see whether they include Ravichandran Ashwin or not in the playing XI.

South Africa

For South Africa, this will be an emotional series for Dean Elgar, who is set to retire from the longest format of the game after the India Tests. Elgar's flawless consistency has made him one of the Proteas' greatest batters in red-ball cricket; as such, his absence will be felt greatly by the team.

image-lqjdnie7Elgar has over 5000 runs in Tests in 84 outings (X.com)

Among the star-studded Temba Bavuma & Co., Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, and Gerald Coetzee will particularly be in focus. Not to forget, Keegan Petersen was their top-scorer (276 runs) when the two sides last met in a Test series in South Africa, whereas Rabada and Jansen picked up 39 wickets in between them to tear the opposition apart.

The form of Bavuma in South Africa’s middle-order is very much important for the side. Bavuma had a bad series of outings in the ODI World Cup in India, although it did not impact much. However, here in South Africa, his range of strokes are more crucial than anything else in order to provide stability to his side.

Given that both sides are coming with all guns blazing, this Boxing Day Test should be a cracker of a contest for the viewers.

IND vs SA 1st Test: Match Details & Live Streaming

Date and Time
December 26-30, 2023, 1:30 PM IST
VenueSuperSport Park, Centurion
Live Streaming and BroadcastStar Sports Network, Hotstar

IND vs SA SuperSport Park Centurion Pitch Report

Centurion's pitch is known for being fairly hard, and based on recent photos that have appeared on social media, the wicket will have a thin layer of grass covering it and be quite green. Day 1 should see a slower pitch; as time goes on, the bounce will become more variable, making the conditions more favourable for fast bowlers.

IND vs SA 1st Test: Probable Playing XIs

India: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma (C), Keegan Petersen, Kyle Verreynne (WK), Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi

IND vs SA 1st Test: Cricket Exchange Fantasy Tips

Wicket-keeperKL Rahul
BattersRohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Aiden Markram, Shubman Gill
All-roundersRavindra Jadeja, Marco Jansen
BowlersJasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada
CaptainJasprit Bumrah
Vice-captainMarco Jansen

IND vs SA 1st Test: Winner Prediction

Given India’s solid squad strength, expect Rohit Sharma and his boys to take a 1-0 lead with a comfortable victory in Centurion.