Dean Elgar says, ‘SA favorite at home’

IND vs SA LIVE – Boxing Day Test LIVE: South African captain Dean Elgar has thrown the 1st gauntlet at India. According to Elgar, Proteas have a home advantage which gives them upper hand against the Virat Kohli led Indian team. Follow India tour of South Africa & 1st Test Live Updates on InsideSport.IN

“India have improved a hell of a lot playing away from home,” before adding, “But us playing at home gives us (South Africa) the upper hand.”

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IND vs SA LIVE: 1st test begins Sunday, Dean Elgar throws first punch, says ‘we have upper hand in our home’: Follow LIVE

Elgar reminded India of their dismal record in South Africa. India hasn’t won a series in South Africa in the 7 previous attempts.

Elgar feels South Africa is favorite to win the series & will be tough to beat in their own home conditions.

Though the Proteas recent home record doesn’t suggest they have the upper hand. The Proteas have lost two out of their last three series on home soil.

South Africa losing the edge at their home?

  • In last 3 Home Series South Africa has lost 2
  • South Africa was beaten by Sri Lanka 2-0 in 2019 in their own backyard
  • Beaten by England 4-1
  • In the last home series vs Sri Lanka, Proteas won 2-0
  • Overall Since 2017 – SA has played 23, Won 16 and lost 7 matches at home.

INDIA vs South Africa LIVE: In reality, the recent record of South Africa at their home & India’s brilliant performance overseas in last few years clearly makes Kohli’s team favorite in the series.

In the last 12 months, they’ve ticked off England and Australia — the latter for the second time in a row.

IND vs SA 1st Test: KL Rahul backs Ajinkya Rahane for No 5 spot but says, ‘Decision on Iyer, Vihari before match’

Will lack of test play cost dearly for South Africa? Not only the recent performances but lack of test matches under their belt can also cost dearly for Elgar’s team.

India has played 14 Tests in the last 12 months, South Africa just five. India’s last Test was three weeks ago, South Africa’s was six months back.

“It took a few guys some time to hit their straps,” Elgar said Friday, citing the importance of some simulated match sessions at the Wanderers, in aiding the players to get up to speed. “Some guys were a little bit frustrated because they didn’t have the rhythm they are accustomed to. But it was nice to see at our training session (Friday) that the guys were finally hitting their straps. It was good to see everyone firing at the right level, where we kinda expect to be.”

The real test of course, takes place on the field.

India Playing XI 1st Test: India is still undecided on their No. 5. Indian team’s newly appointed vice-captain KL Rahul on Friday said they are still thinking who out of Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer or Hanuma Vihari would slot in at no.5 in the order.

Rahul hinted at five bowlers for the opening test – this means Shardul Thakur, the all-rounder will start.

It’s a similar question for the home team. Pick a frontline batter at no.7 — like Kyle Verreyne — and just play the four bowlers or keep Wiaan Mulder and have five bowling options including, left-arm spinner, Keshav Maharaj.

Notwithstanding Maharaj’s record at SuperSport Park — where he’s claimed three wickets in four Tests — Elgar admitted he was reluctant to go into a Test without a spinner. “From my experience playing (at SuperSport Park) the conditions have changed a bit, they do turn towards the spinner’s (favour).”

“We have to set the game up for days 4 and 5 and hopefully the wicket deteriorates enough so that the spinner comes into play. Kesh has shown, he’s not just a container, he’s a wicket taker. He’s quite adaptable for the different roles he must fulfill. He can contain and at the right time he’s a strike bowler,” said Elgar.

Plays starts at 1:30PM IST on Sunday.

TEAMS – Likely Playing XI

South Africa: Dean Elgar (capt), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi

India: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane / Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj

Umpires: Marais Erasmus, Adrian Holdstock. TV – Allahuddien Paleker

Match Referee: Andy Pycroft

Follow India tour of South Africa Live Updates on InsideSport.IN. 

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