India are playing a three-match Test series against South Africa. India had beaten South Africa 3-0 in the four-match Test series the last the Proteas toured India. India will look to garner full 120 points from the series to maintain their top position in the World Test Championship.
India vs South Africa have seen a few exciting Tests and great batting and bowling performances in its brief history. Cricwizz makes an all-time XI of India vs South Africa in Tests. Is your favourite player in?
Virender Sehwag, Gary Kirsten
Sehwag always has a fondness for South African bowling attack. He murdered their bowling once in Kanpur, racing to his second triple ton (319) of his career. He took 304 balls for his 319, slamming 42 fours and 5 sixes. But overall too, Sehwag loved to score runs against South Africa, aggregating 1306 runs @ 50.23 with 5 tons in 15 Tests. He scored against them at a strike rate of 80.56 to exhibit his dominance on the South African bowling unit.
The left-handed opener would have made an ideal foil for Sehwag’s attacking gameplay. Kirsten loves to tire out the bowling before feasting on them. He could have held on end up while Sehwag dealt the big blows. Kirsten enjoyed decent success as an opener against India in Tests, scoring 720 runs @ 40.00 with 3 tons and 3 fifties in 10 Tests.
Hashim Amla, Sachin Tendulkar, AB de Villiers
Hashim Amla is the perfect No 3 here. He beats competition from Rahul Dravid for this spot as Amla has been the pain in India’s flesh in the recent past, whether at home or abroad. His best performance against India came in 2010 when he scored 490 against India in 3 innings with 3 tons in a two-match Test series. He was dismissed only once as the series ended in 1-1 draw. He has scored 1528 runs @ 43.65 with 5 tons and 7 fifties in 21 Tests against India.
Sachin Tendulkar is the ideal No 4 in this line-up. He has played many knocks against South Africa when the chips were down and India needed someone to get the team out of the rut. He played a few brilliant knocks against SA in SA. His 169 at Cape Town was class written all over it, although it came in a losing cause. Sachin scored runs against the top SA bowlers during his time and came out triumph one most occasions. He scored 1741 runs @ 42.46 with 7 tons in 25 Tests against South Africa.
AB de Villiers
At No 5, ABD can just milk the opposition with his strokeplay if there is a platform set for the middle-order to cash in. And if ABD comes out to bat in a difficult situation, he has the skills and temperament to bail the team out with his counter-attacking innings, not letting the opposition dominate any time during his stay at the crease.
He has backed his gameplay and came out triumph most of the time. Against India, he is the fourth-highest run-getter among South Africans. He has scored 1334 runs @ 39.23 with 3 tons and 6 fifties in 20 Tests.
Kallis has been one of the best all-rounders in the world ever. He used to love to feast on Indian bowling attack and scored a lot of runs against them. He has many as 7 tons against India in Tests, joint highest with Sachin. He is the second-highest run-getter in India vs SA Tests.
He has scored 1734 runs @ 69.36 in 18 Tests against India. He finished off his career on a high, scoring 115 in his last Test against India in 2013. He also has 22 wickets against India. He was capable of running through any batting line-up with his bowling.
Boucher edged past MS Dhoni in this XI as he is a better keeper than the latter in Tests. Boucher had 60 dismissals in 14 Tests against India, while Dhoni had just 28 dismissals in 12 Tests against SA. Boucher was excellent behind the stumps whenever he played against India, although he may have underperformed with the bat. Boucher had 5 fifties against India. But his keeping gave him the spot in this line-up.
Kumble is the lone spinner in this XI. He also gets to captain this XI. Kumble holds the top spot in wickets’ list in India vs SA Tests. He has 84 wickets in 21 Tests against SA. Harbhajan Singh was close for the lone spinner’s spot in this XI, but Kumble edged him as the leg-spinner could shine in all pitches and all conditions thanks to his variety and control over his bowling.
Kumble had a brief stint as India captain. He was excellent with his leadership and man-management skills. A team with such talent and variety needs a captain like Kumble to man the XI.
Allan Donald, Dale Steyn, Javagal Srinath
The SA pacer was the best fast bowler of his era. He also reserved his best against India. His duel with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid is quite popular. Indian batsmen just struggled against Donald’s raw pace and swing. Only technically equipped Indian batsmen such as Sachin, Dravid managed to counter Donald’s threat. Donald took 57 wickets @ 17.31 in 11 Tests against India.
He was the most lethal pacer in his prime. His pace was just too much to handle for Indian batsmen. He is the second-highest wicket-taker in India vs SA Tests, taking 65 wickets @ 21.53 in 14 matches. He had five five-wicket hauls against India in Tests, the most by any bowler from either side. Steyn was unplayable at times. He could take wickets on any surface and in any conditions.
Srinath makes an entry in this XI as he spearheaded India’s pace unit single-handedly in the tour of South Africa in 1990s. Even at home, India depended on the tall pacer for early breakthroughs before spinners came into play. Srinath is the third-highest wicket-taker in India vs SA Tests, managing 64 wickets @ 24.48 in 13 Tests with four five-wicket hauls. In the 1990s, Srinath was the lone pacer to give India an edge, both at home and abroad.
All-time India vs SA XI: Virender Sehwag, Gary Kirsten, Hashim Amla, Sachin Tendulkar, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher (keeper), Anil Kumble (captain), Allan Donald, Dale Steyn, Javagal Srinath