All eyes will be on the weather as India are all set to take on South Africa in the first Test match at Visakhapatnam. It has been raining in Vizag right through last we ek and as per the forecast, there is an 80 per cent chance of showers on the opening day of the series opener. Also, there is 50 and 40 percent chance of rain on day two and three and play could also be affected on the final two days.
It should be mentioned here that the warm-up clash between Board President’s XI and South Africa in Vizianagram, which is around 50 kms from the venue, too was affected by rain.
India are firm favourites to win the upcoming three-match series with the Proteas in a period of transition after the retirement of the likes of Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers over the past couple of years. If India win, this will be its 11th consecutive Test series win at home, the most by any side.
However, South Africa will not be an easy challenge and they have the different players who can trouble the hosts. “Spotlight will be on a lot of big players to make a statement. Our job is to come here and give the first punch as India is obviously expected to do well. We are known as a team who starts slow so this time around we have to start well. There is a lot of pressure on players [but then] it’s international cricket and you want to keep it that way,” fast-bowler Vernon Philander said ahead of the match.
“It’s a tough start…playing India in India but I don’t think the South Africans would have wanted it any other way… take the big dogs in their home ground. All of us are looking forward to this challenge and there are a lot of player-to-player challenges as well. Can’t wait to get going,” he further added.