Team India under the leadership of Virat Kohli has performed exceptionally well in the longest format of cricket in the last few seasons. In fact, the current No. 1 Test team recently registered their ninth consecutive Test series victories and with that Kohli equalled Australia’s legendary skipper Ricky Ponting’s feat of most consecutive Test series wins as a captain.
India now have a chance to make it 10 in a row, but ahead of the series India’s leading batsman Rohit Sharma has made it clear that it will be the litmus for the visiting batters against the current Proteas attack, whom he hailed as the best in the world currently.
“It’s the best attack in the world,” Rohit said in an interview with Cricbuzz.
“See, England and Australia can also unleash a great variety at home. But this South African attack is different and certainly the most lethal. It’s not a one-dimensional attack,” he added.
Sharma’s remark concerning the Proteas pace battery is quite fair though as the hosts bowling attack will be bolstered by the return of certain Dale Steyn.
“They have variety, experience and different skill levels,” opined Rohit.
“(Kagiso) Rabada is a tall guy who can hit the deck hard. Morne Morkel is the same. Dale Steyn has the experience to use the new and the old ball. Vernon Philander is so dangerous in SA’s home conditions. He keeps bowling that length, never gives anything easy. It is the most challenging of all challenging attacks we’ll be facing in the next one yea,” he further elaborated.
Rohit has been in exceptional form of late. Beside his super show in the limited-overs format this year, the elegant right-hander has proved his mettle in Test cricket as well. In the preceding Test series against Sri Lanka at home in November, Sharma aggregated 217 runs in 3 innings at an incredible average of 217 with 1 ton and 2 fifties as India sealed the series 1-nil.
India will face South Africa in three-match Test series from January 5 at Newlands, Cape Town. The series will be followed by six ODIs and three T20Is.
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
South Africa Squad (1st Test):
Faf du Plessis(c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn