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'With The Depth They Have..', Temba Bavuma Explains Why Shami's Absence Won't Hurt India

image-lqkj43dbMohammed Shami in action [X.com]

In a highly anticipated showdown, India and South Africa are set to engage in a riveting 2-match Test series starting on Boxing Day, December 26, at Centurion. The stage is set for a thrilling battle, with both teams showcasing their skills after an intense T20I and ODI series.

India enters the Test series with a near full-strength squad, welcoming back key players such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah, who return to the mix following their ODI World Cup Final defeat. However, the absence of fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who couldn't recover from an ankle injury in time, is a notable setback for the Indian side.

While former Indian cricketers express concerns about Shami's absence in South African conditions, Proteas captain Temba Bavuma holds a different view. Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Bavuma emphasized India's incredible squad depth, stating,

 "As cricketers, you want to come up against the best, and Mohammed Shami is one of the best going around. India being India, with the depth they have, you have to trust that whoever comes in will also put you under pressure."

Addressing the challenge of playing in home conditions, Bavuma expressed confidence in his team's ability to adapt better than the Indian side, especially with the looming threat of rain on Day 1 of the Test match. 

"Being in home conditions, we understand the advantage our side has. You will expect us to adapt a lot better," Bavuma remarked.

He acknowledged the strength of the Indian bowling attack and praised their success in Tests over the past decade.

Despite India facing late changes to their squad, with KS Bharat and Abhimanyu Easwaran stepping in due to Ishan Kishan's withdrawal and Ruturaj Gaikwad's finger injury, the teams are geared up for a fierce battle.

South Africa's men's cricket team boasts an impressive record, remaining unbeaten on home soil for 31 years, and Bavuma is determined to uphold that legacy.

What adds an extra layer of excitement to this series is the challenge for team India, led by Rohit Sharma, to rewrite history by clinching a Test series victory on South African soil for the first time.