India vs South Africa 1st Test: Team India's playing XI; Rohit, Pandya in, Rahane, Rahul to sit out (Prediction)

Team India is all set to take on South Africa in the first Test match of their three-match series starting in Cape Town on January 5

Team India is all set to take on South Africa in the first Test match of their three-match series starting in Cape Town on January 5.

Winning 9 Test series on a trot, Virat Kohli & Co would be looking to keep the momentum going and put pressure on the hosts.

Indian have never won a Test series since their first tour to South Africa in 1992. This is an opportunity for the team to create history and prove that they deserve to be the No 1 Test side.

Virat Kohli is confident and so are the players accompanying him for the tour. Team effort will be the key for India to start the series on a positive note.

Here’s InUth’s Playing XI Prediction

Openers – Just ahead of the match, left-hander Shikhar Dhawan has been declared fit. He would be the first-choice opener. Murali Vijay will be the other opener. His prime form in Test cricket might be the reason he will be picked ahead of KL Rahul. The left-right combination at the start will always create trouble for the bowlers.

Middle Order- Cheteshwar Pujara is the obvious choice at the first down. He is dependable and will play the key role in anchoring Indian innings.Virat Kohli will play at second down. During his last tour in 2013, Virat scored 272 runs including a century.

Lower Middle Order – With Wriddhiman Saha’s place as a wicket-keeper batsman is fixed, Team India would certainly like to go with another in-form batsman Rohit Sharma. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane might be asked to sit out. Also, all-rounder Hardik Pandya should find his place in playing XI as he will provide Team India with an extra batting option.

Spinners – With Ravindra Jadeja down with flu, Ravichandran Ashwin will take the lone spinner’s spot in the playing XI.

Pacers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami will be the best pace combination for South African pitches.

The first Test match will start at 2 PM IST.

Teams (from):

India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Parthiv Patel.

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Deal Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyne, Quinton de Kock (wk), Keshav Maharaj, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Chris Morris, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo