The last time we witnessed an India vs South Africa battle, it was during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 where MS Dhoni’s men won by 130 runs. A lot has changed since then. Both the teams have had their shares of ups and downs, and coincidentally both have been handed shocking defeats by Bangladesh in the last two months.
Beginning October 2, 2015, there will be a 72-day long dose of India vs South Africa encounters. 3 Twenty-20 matches, 5 One Day Internationals and 4 Test matches are lined up for the next couple of months. India will be high on morale, following their historic 2-1 victory over Sri Lanka in the recently concluded Test series. South Africa’s last international action was against New Zealand in which they won the ODI series 2-1 and drew the 2-match T20 series.
India’s tour of Sri Lanka saw some great performances by the Virat Kohli-led squad. Murali Vijay made a comeback after recovering from hamstring injury, and Lokesh Rahul finally tasted success. While Cheteshwar Pujara is expected to have sealed his spot in the Test team, star pacer Mohammed Shami might also be seen wearing the blue jersey very soon. While South Africa have already released their team for all the three formats, the Indian management is yet to unveil their individual squads. Imran Tahir will be making his comeback after 9 months, while wicket keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has been unceremoniously dropped from the Test team.
On paper, both the teams look like equally matched and if the past is any testimony, the tournament might turn out to be a closely fought affair. Here is what we think India’s possible squad for this series could be.
Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Stuart Binny, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
MS Dhoni (c), Virat Kohli (vc), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Robin Uthappa (wk), Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron.
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Naman Ojha (wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Dhawal Kulkarni