The Boxing Day Test match between South Africa and India got underway on Sunday (December 26) in Centurion. The visitors have historically struggled to do well in South Africa. This also remains the only place where India have not won a Test series.
However, former South Africa captain Ali Bacher feels the tourists are the favourites to win the series this time due to a lethal pace attack. Bacher termed India’s pace attack as the best he has seen in the last 30 years.
Bacher said the fast and bouncy nature of the tracks in South Africa will be a big advantage for the Indian pacers. “The first two Tests are to be played in Centurion, which is nearly 5000 feet above sea level, and the Wanderers, Johannesburg which is nearly 6000 feet above sea level.
“The rarefied atmosphere at these two Test grounds plus the fast bouncy pitches at the Wanderers and SuperSport Park generally favor fast bowlers. “The current Indian team has the best pace attack I have seen in the past thirty years. Therefore, India will start as favorites for the first two Test matches,” Bacher told News 18.
India have Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Umesh Yadav in the pace bowling department. The five fast bowlers have been phenomenal in India and abroad conditions. They have been able to take regular wickets and put constant pressure on the opposition. A quality pace attack has allowed India to win matches in Australia, England and West Indies.
Meanwhile, India have made a good start after opting to bat first in Centurion. Openers Mayank Agarwal and Kl Rahul have negotiated the first hour. The duo has added 90 runs for the first wicket.