Cape Town Test: Bumrah debuts, India asked to field

ANI | Updated: Jan 05, 2018 13:54 IST

Cape Town [South Africa], Jan 5 (ANI): South Africa have won the toss and asked India to field first in the opening Test of the three-match series between the two sides at Newlands here on Friday.

After being rested for the series against Sri Lanka, Virat Kohli is back in action to lead the Indian side against South Africa, which will be captained by Faf du Plessis.

Following the toss, Kohli said that his side too would have opted to bowl first had they won the toss.

"Looking at the amount of grass, and the surface not hard, we would have bowled first. We saw four bowlers warming up, so we wanted to put them under pressure. Three quicks, Pandya and Ashwin as the sole spinner," he said.

Faf du Plessis, on the other hand, said that the Proteas had an incredibly tough selection, but they are going with their strongest squad.

"My experience is a lot slower on day 1 and then it quickens up. I don't look too much at stats, conditions has changed here. Prepared a bit softer to keep the moisture. Incredibly tough selection, we went for the positive move: four seamers and a spinner. In these conditions, this is our strongest squad," he said.

While India have given Test cap to fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, the home side are going with four fast bowlers-- Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn.

However, India will miss the services of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja due to viral infection, as a result keeping Ravichandran Ashwin as the sole spinner in the Playing XI.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has fully recovered from a minor ankle injury that he sustained before India's departure for South Africa, has also been recalled in the squad.

After rampaging through the home season, India will now aim to continue their winning momentum overseas as well going into the first match.

India, who have won nine successive Test series to equal the record of Australia and England, will be brimming with confidence and will look to clinch their first Test series win against South Africa.

India have never managed to win a Test series on South African soil for the past 25 years. Their best result came during the 2010-11 series, which India drew 1-1.

It should be noted that India's record in South Africa is woeful, having won just two Tests while losing eight games.

Meanwhile, Kohli's side can also break new records and become the first side in history to get to ten Test series win in a row with a victory over the Proteas.

South Africa, on the other hand, are also boosted with the return of speedster Dale Steyn and rejuvenated AB de Villiers and that they will be well prepared to face the challenge of the Indian team, the top-ranked Test side.

India's XI: Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.

South Africa's XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada.(ANI)

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