Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: First Test: India vs South Africa

First Test: India vs South Africa

India vs South Africa

India host South Africa in a three-match Test series that marks the beginning of the visitors World Test Championship campaign and gets underway on 2 October.

The Proteas took some positives out of a warm-up match played on a predictably docile pitch but could be severely underdone in their Test preparations.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Hollywoodbets

Wednesday 2 - Sunday 6 October 2019 | The ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam| 06:00

To WinIndia 5/10
Draw 3/1

South Africa 5/1

India
India come into the series as the number one ranked Test side a position reinforced by their whitewash of the West Indies in the Caribbean in August.

The home side will be without Jasprit Bumrah but should be able to cover for his absence on what is expected to be a spin-friendly pitch in Vizag.

Hanuma Vihari established himself in the India Test XI on the tour in the West Indies but will have to prove he can get the same results at home to nail his spot down.

India will likely use the same opening pair that faced South Africa in a warm-up game. They will hope Rohit Sharma fairs better than his two-ball duck while Mayank Agarwal was also far from convincing in his 39 for the Board XI.

Skipper Virat Kohli will relish the prospect of a good wicket to punish the Proteas bowlers on and the South Africans will need to be at their best against India's kingpin.

South Africa
The Proteas dealt an early psychological blow to India and opener Rohit in the warm-up. Vernon Philander took just two balls to remove the man being floated as an answer to India's opening problem.

The visitors are believed to be eager to sacrifice a batsman to allow them to pick two spinners. Zubayr Hamza is the man who will probably miss out.

Dane Piedt is likely to play his first Test for the Proteas in over three years alongside left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Philander and Kagiso Rabada should round out the bowlers.

Philander will have a job to do with the bat coming in at seven with very little batting to follow. Spin-bowling allrounder Senuran Muthusamy is in the squad but his craft is not as consistent as Piedt's. Cobras captain Piedt has improved as an all-round cricketer since he last played Test cricket and deserves his shot at India.

The Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association Ground pitch is expected to favour the batsmen initially before bringing the spinners into the game.

Verdict: India
India are clear favourites.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets.