Veteran Bengal wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha is set to make a national comeback for the first time since January 2018. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the playing XI for the first of three-match Test series against South Africa, which begins in Visakhapatnam on October 2.
Rohit Sharma replaces KL Rahul in the Indian team that last played against West Indies. Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami will lead the pace attack in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah. R Ashwin too returns to the squad after missing out on the two Tests against Windies.
Playing XI: Virat Kohli (Capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Md Shami
Ahead of the first Test, we take you through a few interesting facts:
The ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium will host their 2nd Test ever. The first Test played in Visakhapatnam was between India and England in 2016. India won that match convincingly by 246 runs.
- Head to Head (W-L-D): In India (8-5) | In South Africa (3-10) | Overall (11-15-10)
- Wriddhiman Saha's last Test came against South Africa in Cape Town. India lost that low scoring match by 72 runs.
- Among the active Indian cricketers, Ajinkya Rahane scored the most number of runs (266) against South Africa in Test cricket, when the two sides played in India. V Kohli (200) is the third among the highest run-getters after C Pujara (200) from the current Indian squad.
- R Ashwin has an impressive record against South Africa in India. Ashwin has 31 wickets to his name in four Tests he has played. He needs 12 more to surpass Harbhajan Singh (42 Wkts) as the highest Indian wicket-taker against SA in India.
South Africa do have plenty of experience in their Test squad. Return of Francois du Plessis (ICC Test Ranking #12) will add more muscle to their batting line-up along with their No. 1 Test batsman Aiden Markram (ICC Test Ranking #10) and Quinton de Kock (ICC Test Ranking #11).