India vs South Africa 2019: 5 players who can produce series-defining performances in Tests
India and South Africa will kick-off the three-match Test series with the first Test at Visakhapatnam starting tomorrow, October 2. India and South Africa have featured in some intense battles over the years. However, on current form, team strength analysis, experience as well conditions on offer, India undoubtedly start as favourites.
The last time South Africa visited India in 2015-16, they were handed a 3-0 defeat despite having match winners like Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers and Hashim Alma in their ranks. Neither of the three is part of the Test squad anymore. As such, the task for the Proteas, led by Faf du Plessis this time, is expected to be that much tougher.
India, in contrast, will look to extend their unbeaten streak at home even further. Their last home series defeat in Tests came in 2012 against England, with Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen at their peak, and the spinners exploiting Indian batsmen’s weaknesses. Under Virat Kohli, India have been a dominant force at home, and competitive away.
As the latest India-South Africa Test series gets underway, we take a look at five players from either side, who could make series-defining contributions.
#5. Kagiso Rabada
The promising South African pacer is undoubtedly one of the best in the business today. It was in India, during South Africa’s last tour here in 2015, that Rabada made his Test debut. He had a tough initiation back then, picking up only two wickets in three Tests at an average of 55.50. Since then, he has come a long way.
Rabada is sharp and accurate, and has troubled the best of batsmen in world cricket, including Virat Kohli. He had an excellent series against India in South Africa last year, where he picked up 15 wickets at an average of 20.26. Rabada’s duel with Rohit Sharma, whom he has dismissed three times in Tests, will be fascinating to watch.
Of course, the conditions in India wouldn't be as receptive to pace bowling as say a pitch in Cape Town or Johannesburg, which is where Rabada’s versatile skills will be put to test.