Boxing Day is all set to witness an intense beginning of the Test series as India visit South Africa for a three-match Test series followed by 3 ODIs. This series is special not just because of the time span after which India toured South Africa but also because of the new faces that we may see featuring in the Test series.
So today, let's have a look at 5 Indian players to watch out for the upcoming Test series.
1) Shreyas Iyer
Iyer was phen
omenal in his debut series against New Zealand. He looked very calm and batted with composure. Already a threat to Ajinkya Rahane's place in the Indian squad, it will be interesting to see how things pan out for him in South Africa, another foreign soil where Indians have not really performed at their best.
What a feeling, 💯 on debut!— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) November 26, 2021
Shreyas Iyer's wait to play Test cricket has paid dividends and how! 🙌#PlayBold #TeamIndia #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/vdOgTpOeNN
Iyer has shown that he has variations present within him when he's out to bat. He can soak pressure, he can accelerate by attacking the bowlers, and he also possesses the ability to play elegant shots. It may be too early to rate him so high but we have seen his potential and his performances in the limited-overs format and thus, he will be an interesting watch. What do you think?
2) Priyank Panchal
In my element 🏏 pic.twitter.com/UyZEsnBsFe— Priyank Panchal (@PKpanchal9) December 20, 2021
The 31-year-old from Ahmedabad will be eager to contribute as an international player. Panchal is a batsman typically but can also bowl.
He made his debut in Domestic cricket in 2008 for Gujarat and continues to represent them. In 2016, he came the first player to score a 300 for Gujarat, and then in the very next month, Panchal became the first player for Gujarat to score 1000 runs in a single Ranji Trophy campaign.
However, he has a big spot to fill in as he was named Rohit Sharma's replacement on the tour after he suffered a hamstring injury.
3) Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli in Test cricket:— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) December 16, 2021
South Africa - 2 centuries in 5 matches ✔️
England - 2 centuries in 15 matches ✔️
New Zealand - 1 century in 4 matches ✔️
Australia - 6 centuries in 13 matches ✔️
Insane numbers for modern master 💥🔥#ViratKohli #India #SAvIND #Cricket pic.twitter.com/P0jmvvHehC
Yes, Virat Kohli is one of the players to watch out for in the series as the Indian skipper has gone through a lot of things in the past couple of months.
Be it India's disappointing exit from the T20 World Cup, or the captaincy dilemma that was around for a while, his disappointment and disapproval over the fact that he was discontinued as India's ODI captain and most importantly, his Test form. Everyone is expecting that Kohli would respond to his haters in style like he always does but the question is will it be this series?
Or will we have to wait for more?
4) KL Rahul
KL Rahul to lead India in Test cricket – Salman Butt makes big prediction about India’s vice-captain https://t.co/u05BNt9SUU— Crictoday (@crictoday) December 19, 2021
Rahul's first tour of South Africa will be no less than a Test debut as he returns from months of rest and injury. Rahul was brilliant on the England tour but will he deal with the bounce in South Africa?
We guess you'll have to wait and watch. KL Rahul is very crucial to India in this series as he is also adjudged as the vice-captain so he possesses responsibilities not just as a batsman but as a leader too.
5) Rishabh Pant
It’s Rishabh Pant vs Lungi Ngidi for the first time in Test cricket!— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) December 21, 2021
In a tour of many firsts, who will win this duel? ⚔️#BelieveinBlue #TeamIndia #FirstKaThirst pic.twitter.com/MZupXlJIoC
Considering the fact that even Wriddhiman Saha is in the squad, things can get tricky for Pant, especially with Rahul Dravid in-charge now.
Not that Dravid would replace him directly after one bad performance but his numbers will not be the only thing that would be of concern to Dravid. Pant has to ensure that he keeps well behind the wickets and he can't use his batting superiority as a way to retain his spot over Saha.
The reason is that KL Rahul is a good enough wicket-keeper so if the situations demands, we may see that happening too. What do you think? Which wicket-keeper will play the majority of Test in the series? Let us know!
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Cover Credits: BCCIofficial