JOHANNESBURG: South Africa and India will take on each on Wednesday in the first test off 2-matches series at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, ARY News reported.
India wasn’t able to show completive performance in ODI series, lost by 2-0, as the last match was abandoned due to rain. But this time the two teams will face each other in long format. The last time these two teams met in South Africa, in 2010-11, India were No. 1 under Gary Kirsten, and played their best series away from home in the last three years. Since then their away record is abysmal, with 0-4 whitewashes in England and Australia, and their high ranking is a result of strong performances in India.
The conditions in South Africa will be India’s biggest challenge. Indian batters will out to counter bouncy pitches against a bowling attack that is regarded the best in the world, with not much practice in South Africa because their solitary practice game was washed out. There is a forecast for thundershowers on every day of the game and Thursday predicted to be the wettest.
On the other hand, for South Africa, it is a rich end to a year largely devoid of Test cricket. They have played only seven matches and had a seven-month gap between their 2012-13 home season and a tour of the UAE. They have lost only one of those games. Last summer, South Africa won all five Tests at home, and with a lean schedule again next year, they will want a similar result to extend their lead at the top of the rankings.
Captain of India, Mahindra Singh Dhoni is confident to perform well in the test series. “Defeat in ODI series is the story of past and we are focusing to dominate the test series”, said MS Dhoni.
Meanwhile, South African captain Graeme Smith is desperate to strengthen their top spot in ICC Test Ranking.