Gautam Gambhir reveals his India playing XI for the first Test against South Africa


The cricketing world stands on the brink of excitement as the much-anticipated Boxing Day Test between India and South Africa looms large. In a strategic move that has set cricket enthusiasts abuzz, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has stepped into the role of a cricket tactician, meticulously crafting India’s playing XI for the inaugural match of the two-test series.

As the SuperSport Park in Centurion prepares to host this spectacle, Gambhir’s expert insights promise a captivating blend of experience, youth, and tactical prowess that could shape the narrative of this high-stakes encounter.

Solid openers

Gambhir’s selection for the opening pair showcases the seasoned expertise of captain Rohit Sharma alongside the youthful exuberance of Yashasvi Jaiswal. This dynamic duo aims to provide a solid foundation and set the stage for a potentially explosive start against the Proteas. Notably, the pair was impressive during India’s recent tour of West Indies.

  • Rohit Sharma: 52 Tests, 3677 runs, 10 hundreds
  • Yashasvi Jaiswal: 2 Tests, 266 runs, 1 hundred

Dynamic middle-order

The middle-order boasts a formidable lineup, with Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and KL Rahul forming the backbone of the batting order. Gambhir’s choices reflect a blend of experience and youthful exuberance, aiming to bolster India’s run-scoring capabilities and navigate critical phases of the game.

  • Shubman Gill: 18 Tests, 966 runs, 2 hundreds
  • Virat Kohli: 111 Tests, 8676 runs, 29 hundreds
  • Shreyas Iyer: 10 Tests, 666 runs, 1 hundred
  • KL Rahul: 47 Tests, 2642 runs, 7 hundreds

Also READ: Sunil Gavaskar handpicks India’s playing XI for the ‘boxing day’ Test against South Africa in Centurion

Quality all-rounders

In the all-rounder department, Gambhir provides two options – the spinning prowess of Ravindra Jadeja or the guile of Ravichandran Ashwin, alongside the versatile Shardul Thakur. This strategic move adds flexibility to India’s playing XI, catering to different pitch conditions and contributing both with the bat and ball.

  • Ravindra Jadeja: 67 Tests, 2804 runs, 3 hundreds; 275 wickets
  • Ravichandran Ashwin: 94 Tests, 3185 runs, 5 hundreds; 489 wickets
  • Shardul Thakur: 10 Tests, 305 runs; 30 wickets

Lethal bowling attack

The pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Prasidh Krishna forms the formidable bowling attack. Gambhir’s emphasis on a balanced combination aims to exploit South African conditions and make an impact on the opposition’s batting lineup. Each bowler brings a unique set of skills, combining pace, swing, and aggression to provide the team with multiple options.

  • Jasprit Bumrah: 30 Tests, 128 wickets, 9/66 BBM
  • Mohammed Siraj: 21 Tests, 59 wickets, 8/126 BBM
  • Prasidh Krishna: Yet to debut

Gautam Gambhir’s India XI for the Boxing-Day Test against South Africa:

Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja/Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna

Also READ: Star India all-rounder Shardul Thakur reveals the ‘most difficult country’ to play Test cricket

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