The South African captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and elect to bat first in this first test match of Freedom Series at Newlands, Cape Town.
Faf: We will have a bat. The wicket is slow and it will get better to bat on as the day wears on. I don’t look too much into stats. The conditions have changed over the last two years. When we played Sri Lanka here it was slow initially and then it quickened up nicely. We are playing four seamers and a spinner which means one less batsman. Temba Bavuma misses out.
VK: Looking at the amount of the grass on the wicket and the surface being not that hard, looking at our bowlers’ strength, I think we would have bowled first given ourselves a good crack with the new ball which is because they are playing one batter less. So, we wanted to exploit their batting order unsettle them in the first 15-20 overs with the new ball. We will have three quicks and Hardik Pandya as the all-rounder. Ashwin is the lone spinner. Jasprit Bumarh is making his Test debut.He has come a long way and he has done really well in the limited overs cricket. He is bowling a really heavy ball and he is been the most impressive seamer here in our preparations. Our last tour outside India was Australia apart from Sri Lanka and that series gave us the
India (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah
South Africa (Playing XI): Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel