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South Africa vs India first Test: Tips and suggested bets

Planet Sport gets stuck into the Boxing Day Test between South Africa and India from SuperSport Park.

India are still chasing an elusive series win in South Africa in Test cricket, but might get their best shot yet in a shortened two-match engagement that starts with a Boxing Day Test at SuperSport Park and ends with a New Year's exchange at Newlands.

In 2021, when they last visited Centurion, India came out on top in the Test at SuperSport Park to start their series with a win, only to go down in matches at Newlands and the Wanderers.

The quality of India's fast bowlers is no longer in question, but they will also need to be wary of their over-rates when leaning heavily on their quicks.

South Africa have won eight of their last nine Test matches at SuperSport Park, with the loss to India coming as an outlier, with the opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal doing the hard yards in the early going.


South Africa vs India first Test: Suggested bets

The team winning the toss will almost certainly bat first, even if the SuperSport Park wicket looks like it has a lot of juice in it.

Day one after lunch is usually when scoring is most straightforward for a batting side, provided they have one or both of their openers still at the crease.

KL Rahul has great memories of this ground, having hit a superb century here to be player of the match in a famous India win, and he did so as an opener.

It is unclear whether he will be entrusted with partnering Rohit Sharma or if the task will fall to young Yashasvi Jaiswal, who teamed up with the skipper in the Caribbean.

Rahul might be asked to come in lower in the order and keep wicket ahead of Srikar Bharat, who last took the gloves in the World Test Championship final loss to Australia at the Oval.

India might find that the allround ability of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin gives them a great edge in batting depth over South Africa, who rely on specialists.

South Africa also have injury clouds hanging over their premier fast bowlers, with both Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi nursing niggles that have seen them miss out on the white-ball series.

If Rabada is fully fit, he will be the clear dangerman in the South African attack.

Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram stand out as the two batsmen most likely to really cash in on a pitch they will both know very well as they play their domestic cricket here for the Titans.



- Dean Elgar to top score for South Africa in the first innings

- Kagiso Rabada to take the most wickets for South Africa

- India to put on a hundred run or more opening stand in the first innings

- Ravindra Jadeja to take the most second innings wickets for India


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