The no.1-ranked Test team India will now play the three-match home Test series against the no.3-ranked Test team South Africa in this October month.
They will play the first Test of this series at Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA–VDCA Cricket Stadium (Vishakhapatnam) from 2nd October 2019.
Here is the predicted XI of the Indian national cricket team for the upcoming Vishakhapatnam Test match.
Opener Mayank Agarwal had a great start in his Test career when he made debut during the last Australia tour in last December. In the last August-September, Agarwal played the Test matches against the host side Windies but mostly disappointed, excluding one half-century. The upcoming South Africa series will be his first home Test series and he surely wants to perform well in this series.
In recent times, the limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma is one of the biggest talking points in Indian cricket. The Test side desperately needs a solid opener. While Rohit has performed superiorly as an opener in limited-overs cricket, the selectors now want to see Rohit as a Test opener. Rohit, who has struggled in Test cricket, has never opened in this format yet. Though he scored a duck as an opener in the recent three-day practice match against South Africa, the team management is likely to select him as an opener for the first Test.
The right-handed top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was in a very good form in the last season. In the last Test series against Windies, Pujara was far away from his top batting form as he scored 2, 25, 6, and 27 runs respectively. However, the team has enough strong faith in Pujara who is known for his strong character as a batsman.
Virat Kohli (Captain)
The no,2-ranked Test batsman Virat Kohli is one of the most consistent players in the present cricket world. However, in recent times, he has struggled to stretch his good performances to the three-figure scores. Surely, Kohli wants to end this headache soon by registering some good three-figure scores in this Test series.
The Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has finally back in the form. In the last Test series on the Caribbean tour, Rahane scored 271 runs in four innings with an impressive average of 90.33. The right-handed batsman hit one century and two half-centuries in that series. He is focusing to carry on this form further.
The middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari was the best performer as a batsman in the last Test series against Windies. In that two-match away Test series, Vihari scored 289 runs in four innings with an incredible average of 96.33. He hit one century and two half-centuries in that away series. His consistent batting has given a big relief to the team management who were looking for a good middle-order batsman.
Wriddhiman Saha (wk)
The 34-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha played his last Test in January 2018. Due to some injuries, Saha missed international cricket for a long time. In the last Test series against Windies in last August-September, Saha was in the Test squad but the team management didn’t select him in the playing XIs. But while the youngster Rishabh Pant is consistently struggling with the bat, Saha is likely to replace him in the upcoming first Test against South Africa.
The all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja always remains in the game. Recently, he has returned to his form and he is performing strongly for the national side. In the Windies tour, Jadeja performed well in the Test series. In India, he is more effective as a left-arm spinner.
Due to injuries and inconsistent performances, Ravichandran Ashwin has recently faced exclusion from the national team. The 33-year-old off-spinner last played for India in Adelaide Test in last December. However, Ashwin performed very well in the recent English County Championship 2019. So, team management can consider him for this Test series. Also, Ashwin is very effective spinner in India, especially when Ravindra Jadeja is his bowling partner.
With the time progress, the tall right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma is becoming a more dangerous and consistent performer. In the last Windies tour, Ishant was the second most wicket-taker as he managed to take 11 wickets in two matches with an average of 12.27.
In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami is likely to earn the opportunity. The right-arm pacer is a very consistent performer in every format. Since 2018, Shami is the second most Test wicket-taker for India as he has picked up 58 wickets in 15 Tests.