Team India under the leadership of Virat Kohli have performed exceptionally well in the longest format of cricket in the last few seasons, but their real Test is still awaiting as the team is scheduled to tour South Africa from January 5, 2018.
Kohli’s troops have recently registered their 9th consecutive Test series victories and are keen to prove themselves away from home. And for this, the team management have decided to travel with 4 extra pacers to South Africa.
The team management has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to let Basil Thampi, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan and Navdeep Saini accompany the team to reduce the workload of six frontline pacers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.
"It will serve a double purpose. The young pacers will learn a lot by travelling with the team and bowling to international batsmen. It will also reduce the workload of our pacers in the nets. The request is to keep them for at least three weeks," a source aware of developments told the Bangalore Mirror.
While Hyderabad fast bowler Mohammed Siraj recently made his India debut against New Zealand in a T20I match at Rajkot, Kerala pacer Basil Thampi received his maiden India call-up for the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka.
Madhya Pradesh speedster Avesh, who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2017 under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, had impressed one and all with his pace and control whereas Delhi paceman Navdeep Saini has been consistently performing at the domestic level.
The final decision concerning the four fast bowlers to travel to South Africa is expected to be taken by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.
India Test Squad for South Africa Tour:
Virat Kohli(c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Jasprit Bumrah
Jan 05 - Jan 09, 1st Test – Newlands, Cape Town
Jan 13 - Jan 17, 2nd Test – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Jan 24 - Jan 28, 3rd Test – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 01, 1st ODI – Kingsmead, Durban
Feb 04, 2nd ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 07, 3rd ODI – Newlands, Cape Town
Feb 10, 4th ODI – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 13, 5th ODI – St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
Feb 16, 6th ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 18, 1st T20I – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 21, 2nd T20I – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 24, 3rd T20I – Newlands, Cape Town