Five New Faces in South Africa’s Test Squad as They Face India
Some players in the South African squad lack International experience and will have a tough time playing in India.
South Africa is set to play a three-match Test series against India, starting on Wednesday, 2 October, in Visakhapatnam. India is currently leading the table in the World Test Championship after defeating West Indies earlier this year, while South Africa is yet to play a Test match since the new rankings format came into effect after the ODI World Cup.
Playing India, in its own backyard, is always a challenge for every team and South Africa come into the series with a relatively young team featuring many new faces.
This, in fact, is the team’s first outing since the retirements of mainstays Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn, and skipper Faf du Plessis has already said he will retire after the Twenty20 World Cup next year.
Here’s a look at some of the new faces that could find it difficult in India or could well step up and flourish against Kohli’s side.
Hamza enjoys an excellent first-class record aggregating 4,001 at an average of 50.01, including ten centuries and 23 fifties. His career-best score is 202 not out for Western Province against Namibia at Wanderers Cricket Ground, Windhoek, in October 2014.
In January 2019, he posted another double century, scoring 201 playing for Cape Cobras against against Dolphins at City Oval, Pietermaritzburg. His best season in first-class cricket was 2017-18, aggregating 1,203 (ave 63.31), including four hundreds and six fifties.
In his only Test, played against Pakistan at Johannesburg in January 2019, he scored 41 & 0.
He is not an experienced campaigner when it comes to International cricket. Thus, facing India on its home soil will be a tough thing for him.
He is South Africa’s 100th Test player since their readmission.
Theunis de Bruyn
Theunis de Bruyn has failed to make an impression in his brief Test career, amassing 346 in nine Tests at an average of 20.35, including a hundred – 101 vs Sri Lanka Colombo (SSC) in July 2018. Also, in the two T20Is he has played, he could not make any impact.
However, De Bruyn enjoys decent first-class record, amassing 4,414 runs at an average of 45.50, including twelve hundreds and 19 fifties in 62 matches. His career best score in domestic cricket is 202 not out off 275 balls for South Africa against England Lions at Boland Park, Paarl in January 2015.
His best first-class season was 2014-15, scoring 984 runs at an average of 57.88, including two hundreds and six fifties, in eleven matches.
Facing a fierce bowling attack like India will be not be easy for him. He has to come up with something different to make a mark in this series if he has to play for South Africa in future.
A left-handed batsman and slow left-arm orthodox bowler, Senuran Muthusamy, is an all-rounder of immense promise but without any international experience.
His best first-class season has been 2016-17, scoring 840 runs at an average of 44.21, including three hundreds and four fifties, in twelve matches. His career-best score in domestic cricket is 181, as an opener for Dolphins against Knights at Kimberley in January 2017.
He has scored 3,403 at an average of 32.72, including seven hundreds and 18 fifties, in 69 matches. As a bowler he has taken 129 wickets, with 7 for 83 for Dolphins against Warriors in Durban in March 2018 being his career-best bowling performance.
He looks like a promising all-rounder who can do very well for South Africa. But he has to face a huge challenge upfront in his career, that is to face the Indian team in its own backyard.
He has seven 5-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul in his domestic career.
Anrich Nortje is a right-arm fast bowler. He has represented South Africa in four ODIs and one T20I till now.
He made his international debut in March this year, in an ODI against Sri Lanka at Johannesburg. He subsequently got selected in South Africa's World Cup squad but was ruled out of the tournament because of a fractured thumb.
In domestic cricket, he has taken 162 wickets in 47 matches, including five five-wicket hauls.
His career-best performance is 6 for 44 for Warriors vs Knights at Port Elizabeth in November 2016.
He will be facing the number one Test team which has a very strong batting line up consisting of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
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