The Day 1 of the first Test between India and South Africa will be played on January 5.It will be played at the Newlands Cricket Stadium in Cape Town and the live broadcast will be shown on Sony Ten Network, starting 2 PM. The match can be streamed online on Sony Liv.com. For live scores, updates, and analysis, you can follow our live blog on cricketnext.com.
The three-Test South Africa series is the first of a grueling 2018-19 season that includes tours to England and Australia. The assignments are being seen as a make or break season for Virat Kohli and his men to prove their worth as a good travelling unit.
But for this, they will have to rely heavily on their pacers to come good. As the numero uno Test side, India have a healthy points' lead over second-ranked South Africa and will not lose their crown even if they lose by a landslide 0-3 margin. This, however, is not merely about points and rankings for Kohli's side.
The Proteas will be relying on their formidable fast bowling attack to dismantle India's strong batting line-up, but after nine successive Test series wins, India are brimming with confidence and a belief that they can thrive in any conditions.
Six of India's series wins have come at home and three others -- two in Sri Lanka and one in the West Indies -- were in favourable conditions. India last lost a series in 2014-15 when they were beaten 2-0 in Australia in a four-Test contest.
India boast of a poor record in South Africa as they lost five out of six series with one drawn. Since 1992, India have only won two out of 17 Tests played on South African soil - in 2006-07 under Rahul Dravid and in 2010-11 under MS Dhoni.
Significantly, though, the Indians have pushed South Africa hard on their two most recent tours -- in 2010-11 and 2013-14, sharing the first series and narrowly losing the second.
Thirteen players of India's 2013-14 side are part of the current squad they have become a vastly more experienced team, which has become accustomed to winning. As far as the venue is concerned, India have never won in four Tests here at Newlands, losing twice and drawing on the other two occasions.
And it remains to be seen if Kohli can do one better, in not only winning a third-ever Test in the Proteas' backyard but also setting a noteworthy tone for India's arduous overseas cycle.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Parthiv Patel.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Deal Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyne, Quinton de Kock (wk), Keshav Maharaj, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Chris Morris, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo.
1st Test1st Test India vs South Africacricket scoreind vs saInd vs SA Live ScoreIndia vs South Africaindia vs south africa 2018india vs south africa live scoreLive Cricket ScoreLive Score Ind vs SASouth Africa vs India 2018
First Published: January 5, 2018, 9:05 AM IST