SA vs IND: Strongest playing XI of India for first Test

SA vs IND: Strongest playing XI of India for first Test

India tour of SA will get underway on December 26.

Indian cricket team
India cricket team. (Photo Source: Twitter/BCCI)

The emergence of the Omicron variant in South Africa put India’s tour of the rainbow nation in jeopardy. Because the players will enter the bio bubble in this series, the BCCI was discussing with the CSA the possibility of shortening the tour. Furthermore, all of the matches will most likely be held behind closed doors.

After negotiations, the tour was postponed by a week and the first Test will start on December 26th followed by two T20Is and three ODIs. The four-match T20 series has been postponed till a later date, which will be notified by the BCCI.

The Test squad for the visiting team, India, was just announced, and there were no surprises. Gill, Jadeja, and Axar missed out due to injuries and all the major players were back into the squad after taking a rest in the home series against New Zealand. Rahane’s vice-captaincy was taken over by Rohit Sharma due to the latter’s poor form. Furthermore, Rohit Sharma suffered a hamstring injury just before joining the bio bubble which ruled him out of the Test series. South Africa also named their team, which included some newcomers such as Marco Jansen and some returning players such as Duanne Olivier. Let’s take a look at-

Strongest India playing XI for first SA Test

1. Mayank Agarwal

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal. (Photo Source: Twitter/BCCI)

The flamboyant batter from Karnataka, Mayank Agarwal, will replace Rohit Sharma in the Playing XI for India. With impressive performances behind his back during the recently held New Zealand series, he would look to capitalize on the limited opportunities he is been provided within the Test format.

Mayank scored a brilliant 150 and followed it up with an outstanding 62 on a surface where other batters failed to score many runs. His explosive batting against the spinners was the highlight of that innings. His elusive inside-out shots over the bowlers’ heads were pleasing to the eyes. He would look to make a mark in South Africa where the pitches will have a lot more pace and the ball would nicely come into the bat.

The 30-year old will be wary of his weakness against the new ball. His stance makes it really difficult for him to counter the swinging ball. He, often, edges the ball or plays down the wrong line which opens him up. If he works on and counters this weakness, he could plunder a lot of runs in the rainbow nation and eventually seal his spot in the Playing XI.

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