India vs South Africa – 1st Test Match Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is India vs South Africa taking place? Wednesday, October 2nd (05:00 UK time)

Where is India vs South Africa taking place? Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA–VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam

What is the expected weather for India vs South Africa? 32c with a chance of the occasional shower throughout the Test

What channel is India vs South Africa on? This match will be televised live in the UK on Star Gold HD (Sky channel 717)

Where can I stream India vs South Africa? This match will be streamed live on the SkyGo app

Where can I get tickets for India vs South Africa? Tickets for this match can be purchased here

LAST MEETING
India beat South Africa by 63 runs

THE TEAM NEWS

INDIA

  • India come into this three-match Test series against South Africa with plenty of confidence as they sit at the top of the Test Championship table after their comprehensive 2-0 win over the West Indies in August.
  • KL Rahul has been dropped from the Test squad which signals yet another change to the opening partnership and Rohit Sharma comes back into the squad, seemingly set to partner Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order while the in-form Shubman Gill also returns to the fold.
  • They have been dealt a significant injury blow with the news that star bowler Jasprit Bumrah has suffered a minor stress fracture in his lower back so he will miss this series as Umesh Yadav is recalled but that may encourage them to field an extra spinner here on a pitch that should favour the slow bowlers.

SOUTH AFRICA

  • South Africa return to Test action after not playing in this format of the game since a two-match series against Sri Lanka which they surprisingly lost 2-0 in incredibly dramatic circumstances.
  • With Hashim Amla now retired from international cricket, they will need to find a new number three batsman and Theunis de Bruyn appears the most likely candidate ahead of Zubayr Hamza following his century in Sri Lanka last year where he showed he was more than capable in similar conditions to what he will likely face here.
  • The bowling attack is without the also retired Dale Steyn so that places more responsibility on Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander, although Lungi Ngidi will be a major threat and spinner Keshav Maharaj is coming off a hugely successful spell in the English County Championship with Yorkshire and will relish these conditions.

THE PREDICTION

This promises to be another fascinating Test series and one which the home side have to be strongly favoured in. India have conditions on their side, but also form is clearly with them too. South Africa have not played this format of the game much in 2019 and a 3-0 win over Pakistan at the start of the year sandwiched two concerning series losses against Sri Lanka. They were swept aside by them in Sri Lanka last year, where the South African batsmen struggled badly with conditions, and that experience does not bode well for them here. India come off a dominant series win over West Indies, and they can take the momentum from that triumph and win this opening match.

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