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India vs South Africa Predictions: 5 to keep an eye out for

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

India vs South Africa Predictions: 5 to keep an eye out for. 5 big predictions for the India vs South Africa Test series

After a plethora of one-day and T20 cricket since the Ashes, Test cricket makes a return in high-profile fashion.

India return home for Test cricket after some wait, with the last assignment being a very easy 2-0 series win over West Indies in October 2018. South Africa, who suffered a 3-0 defeat in difficult conditions in 2015, kick-start their World Test Championship campaign with arguably the most challenging road trip in world cricket.

Great players, including AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn, have retired. Some are under injury clouds. Indeed, South Africa start the series as rank outsiders, but, at the same time, it is a chance for players to enhance their reputation. The chance to really kick-start their Test careers and form the basis of something special over the coming months. A great opportunity awaits to hand the hosts a great challenge.

India also have questions to answer. Rohit Sharma returns to the Test fold, this time as opener, which has divided opinion. Jasprit Bumrah, arguably the world’s best bowler, has suffered an injury setback. Spin, as always, will have a key role to play, so India start as overwhelming favourites despite the questions in their camp.

Related:

Will Rohit Sharma succeed as Test opener?

What makes Jasprit Bumrah so special?

India vs South Africa Predictions

The three-match Test series, beginning in Visakhapatnam, will be South Africa’s ultimate test of spin. If the Proteas believe it is only their batsmen who will feel the pressure, they would be wrong, as their spinners need to hold their own in conditions that will require plenty from them.

So, who will step up? What will the answers be to some of the most pressing questions? What about the series scoreline? Can South Africa challenge India?

Below are five key predictions for the upcoming India vs South Africa series.

1. Leading run-scorer: Virat Kohli (India)

Virat Kohli is a very competitive person. He was dethroned as Test cricket’s number one batsman by Steve Smith in an incredible Ashes campaign. So, expect a big response from Kohli after an under-par series against West Indies by his lofty standards.

Also read: Is Steve Smith the best batsman since Don Bradman?

Also, in 2014, Virat Kohli had a very poor tour of England. Four years later, he was simply outstanding. In 2015, Kohli had a decent series against South Africa, without setting the world on fire as billions know he can. His 200 runs at 33.33 had him fifth among batsmen in that series.

However, in the years since, he has comes leaps and bounds in Test cricket, focused on improving his game as much he can. Four years and 3,755 runs on, Kohli will look to replicate what he did in South Africa and England in 2017: take centre stage in a big series.

India vs South Africa Predictions: 5 to keep an eye out for. 5 big predictions for the India vs South Africa Test series
India vs South Africa Predictions: Kohli will have a big series

2. Leading wicket-taker: Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

India have enjoyed plenty of success in Test cricket at home over the past 5-10 years. One man that comes to mind as part of this journey is Ravichandran Ashwin, who is outstanding in home conditions.

234 of his 342 wickets have come in India, at a superb average of 22.68. With conditions expected to suit spin once again, expect Ashwin to have a major say, particularly after being left out of India’s team for the two Tests in the Caribbean recently.

Ashwin led the way in 2015 with 31 wickets, and will lead the way again for India. His mix of straight balls (horizontal seam) and sharp turners (over spin) will be difficult for the Proteas’ batsmen to handle. He, along with partner in crime Ravindra Jadeja, will be the two to watch out for, along with India’s much-improved pace attack despite the absence of Bumrah.

India vs South Africa Predictions: 5 to keep an eye out for. 5 big predictions for the India vs South Africa Test series
India vs South Africa Predictions: R Ashwin will have a big series.

3. Aiden Markram: His coming of age

Aiden Markram burst onto the international scene in 2017 as South Africa’s next big thing. A player touted with great leadership qualities after guiding the U19 team to glory in 2014, Markram made a great start to his career before some bumpy moments along the way.

One of those bumpy moments was in Sri Lanka in 2018. In his first tour of Asia as a Test cricketer, Markram struggled against spin, scoring just 40 runs in four innings.

Now, he is set for just his third Test away from home. However, his form in the lead up to this series has been outstanding, hitting two straight centuries (161 and 100) against India A and Indian Board President’s XI respectively.

Prediction: This will be the series where Aiden Markram goes to another level. Can he make 250 runs in the three Tests? I think he will.

4. Rohit Sharma will do enough to keep his place as opener

Rohit Sharma has never opened in a Test match. Moreover, he often bats in the middle order in First Class cricket. So, the decision to open with him in Tests was always going to raise eyebrows.

However, Rohit will do enough to keep his place as opener in this series, despite his duck in the practice game. His battle against Kagiso Rabada will certainly be a key one, but as the new ball moves less for seamers in India than it does in SENA, Rohit will put enough runs on the board to keep his place for India’s series in New Zealand, which will certainly test him further.

His excellent home record (eight 50+ scores in 14 innings) should hold him in good enough stead to avoid a Jason Roy-like situation so soon.

Also read: The two options Rohit has as Test opener

India vs South Africa Predictions: 5 to keep an eye out for. 5 big predictions for the India vs South Africa Test series
India vs South Africa Predictions: Rohit will do enough.

Series result: India 3-0 South Africa

Rain permitting, we should expect a result in all three Tests. Despite the Proteas producing some encouraging play in the lead up to the Test (Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj), as well as still possessing fine players (Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar and Kagiso Rabada), India will still prove too strong at home.

In conditions expected to turn, the combination of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, who have 376 wickets between them in India, will be very difficult for an inexperienced Proteas lineup to handle. While South Africa will have their moments, India look a much more rounded side to perform well in these conditions in this series. After all, the better team in a game will almost always go on to win. India are better in these conditions.

Which way do you think this series will go?

Thanks for reading!

Also read: Will Rohit Sharma succeed as a Test opener?

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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