South Africa and India will start one of the most anticipated Tests series in the year 2018. The no.1 Test team India will take on South Africa in their own den in a series of three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is. Team India who is on a roll with nine straight series wins in Tests will be thoroughly tested by the Proteas.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar showed his concern over selection dilemmas for both teams in his column for Times of India.
He speaks about South Africa’s conundrum over selecting Dale Steyn. Steyn is returning to Test cricket after missing over a year’s games due to a shoulder fracture sustained in Australia.
"Both teams have selection problems, but mainly about their bowling combination. Dale Steyn is fit, but is he match fit? Can he last a full day of bowling? A dislocated shoulder is not the easiest of injuries to recover from. Can that shoulder hurl the ball at speeds of yore? That will be South Africa's dilemma," Gavaskar said.
He continued, "Here is a bowler with over 400 Test wickets to his name. Can they afford to leave him out and even more pertinent after that injury; can they afford to pick him in the eleven? What if he breaks down again?"
India too has a problem on their hands about picking the third seamer for the side. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami pick themselves in the team; but who amongst Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma will be picked in the team? Who will be the spinner that makes his way into the team?
Gavaskar asked the same questions, saying "India too have a worry about which seamer to leave out and which spinner to pick. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are their first picks, but who will be the third pacer? Umesh Yadav, with his extra pace and the ability to contrast swing the older ball, or the experienced Ishant Sharma who has rediscovered the away going delivery that made him so famous almost ten years ago when he got the Australia skipper Ricky Ponting caught at first slip."
"Against the Lankans, Sharma was getting the ball to deviate nicely away from the right-handers, but his length was again that one and half foot shorter than ideal. Ravindra Jadeja's viral illness does make it bit easy for the Indians to go for Ashwin as the lone spinner, but if Jadeja recovers then Kohli who has more confidence in the left-hander may well opt for him," said Gavaskar.