1st Test: India target unconquered ‘final frontier’ in South Africa – Times of India

1st Test: India target unconquered 'final frontier' in South Africa - Times of India

Two years later Virat KohliWith the fiery fury captured by the stump microphone, marking his last Test as captain, India are all set to embark on yet another attempt to conquer the elusive ‘Final Frontier’, as their search for The two-match series kicks off on Tuesday at SuperSport Park. .
South Africa They are the only regular Test playing nation where India are yet to win a series.

“It is a matter of pride to be able to maintain this record. There will be extra drive and motivation for India, so we will need to be at our best,” the South African captain said. Temba Buoma on Sunday.

In the 2021-22 season, Virat Kohli led a strong Indian team, building on the momentum gained from successful tours of Australia and England.
Although India claimed victory in the first Test. CenturionThe Proteas, led by then-captain Dean Elgarshowed resilience in two tight fourth innings to come back and secure the series.
Kohli’s frustration boiled over as he backed Elgar during a critical televised review in the deciding match. Kohli then resigned from the Test captaincy the day after the match.

Both Kohli and Elgar continue to play important roles as key batsmen for their respective teams, though not as captains this time around.
Elgar, 36, has announced his retirement from international cricket after the second Test in Cape Town. He had earlier been relieved of the captaincy as part of a shake-up in the Test side, with Shukri Konrad appointed as coach.
Conrad confirmed that Elgar’s decision to retire came from a discussion between the two. He praised Elgar’s qualities, including resilience, a strong spirit, pride in performance and an unwavering determination.

These attributes will be crucial for South Africa, especially given the lack of experience and quality in the top-order batting.
Similarly, India face uncertainty in their batting line-up, with Chiteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane no longer part of their plans. Both had shown their ability to take on South Africa’s fast bowlers on the country’s traditionally lively pitches in the previous tour.
As the series unfolds, South Africa will once again rely on their pace bowlers to trouble the Indian batting line-up.
“India have a quality batting line-up but we have quality bowlers,” Conrad said.
Emerging talents Marco Johnson and Gerald Coetzee both took part in the four-day domestic matches last week, while veterans Kagiso Rabada, battling a heel problem, and Lungi Ngidi, recovering from a sprained ankle, were unfortunate. Missed the opportunity to engage in the longer format. Next to the domestic circuit Test series .
Nevertheless, coach Konrad expressed hope, expecting a speedy recovery for both Rabada and Ngidi, hoping that they would be fit and ready for the upcoming Test.
“They’ll be fresh, they’ll be firing,” he said.
Due to injury to pacer Mohammad Shami, India will be without his services, but the strong bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj will continue to lead a strong attack.
The series is the first series for South Africa in the 2023-25 ​​World Test Championship cycle.
For India, this series is their second engagement in the WTC cycle, after the previous performance in July where they won one match and drew the other against the West Indies.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Dean Elgar, Aidan Markram, Tony De Zorzi, Keegan Pietersen, David Bedingham, Tristan Stubbs, Kyle Vereen (wt), Marco Johnson, Wian Mulder, Gerald Coetzee, Kesho Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi. Ngidi, Nandre Berger
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Yashwi Jaiswal, Shibman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wicket), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Parsed Krishna, KS Bharat (wicket) ), Abhimanyu Iswaran
First Test: 26-30 December, Centurion
Second Test: 3-7 January, Cape Town

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