The Indian team will soon be seen in action when they take on South Africa in the first Test of the upcoming three-match series, starting on December 26 in Centurion.
India haven’t yet won a Test series in South Africa. However, considering their previous few performances, including historic wins in Australia and England, many experts feel that this is India’s best chance to register a series victory in the rainbow nation.
Notably, the last time when India visited South Africa, in 2018, they had lost the Test leg 1-2. However, the same series gave an early sight into the world-class fast-bowling attack that would start dominating everywhere.
Back then, South Africa had the likes of top-quality batters in the side, such as Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis. However, this time around, the hosts have a relatively less experienced batting unit which is expected to face a tough time against a high-quality Indian pace attack.
The biggest challenge Indian team management will face ahead of the opening Test is finding a perfect bowling combination.
But, former India pacer Ashish Nehra has made his choices clear. He reckoned that Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami would be the sure-shot picks. Notably, apart from Bumrah and Shami, India have four other pacers in the squad, featuring Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj.
“Look, I feel Bumrah and Shami are the two automatic choices in India’s pace attack,” Nehra told Telegraph India.
When it comes to the third pacer, Nehra felt there could be a toss-up between Ishant and Siraj, but he will choose the latter due to his recent form.
“Talking of the third pacer, Mohammed Siraj could be the guy. Ishant (Sharma) was injured and left out of the second Test versus New Zealand (in Mumbai), while Siraj did fairly well in that game. It also depends on the team management’s thought process and game plan and who’s looking sharper at nets,” the 42-year-old added.
The Delhi-born further praised the Indian bowling unit, stating the problem of plenty is a great sign for Indian cricket.
“But the good thing is the number of options India have as far as their pace battery is concerned. They even have someone like Umesh (Yadav), who’s super-experienced now with the number of Test matches (51) he has played so far. So it’s a good situation the team finds itself to be in,” Nehra added further.
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