India vs South Africa: Top 5 Indian Test run-scorers vs SA in current squad | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The year 2018 was the start of a new era in Indian cricket. It was when Virat Kohli and his Test unit began their journey of becoming one of the best ever touring teams. The start of this journey was promising but began with a 2-1 series loss in South Africa. But three years down the line — with two back-to-back series wins in Australia and a 2-1 lead in this year’s series (unfinished) in England under their belt, Team India has achieved unprecedented success on foreign lands in the longest format.
And now once again, it is the same Kohli and co. who are back in the Rainbow Nation to complete some unfinished business – try and win a Test series in South Africa.

Although there are quite a few first-timers in the Indian team in this year’s ‘Mission South Africa’ , when it comes to the batting department, the Indian team management has managed to keep its core team intact.

Players who have been proven performers in the past on South African soil are still beside Kohli, all in readiness to help India conquer the final frontier.
To go with that, the exuberance of young blood will aid the skipper and help India achieve what was just out of reach the last time around. today takes a look at the top 5 highest run-getters against South Africa in Tests in the current Indian team as the much-awaited tour gets underway on Boxing Day:
Virat Kohli (Captain)
When it comes to Test cricket, South Africa has been one of Virat Kohli’s favorite opposition teams. Virat, be it home or away, has a seriously good record against the Proteas. A total of 1,075 runs in 12 matches and that with an average of close to 60, speaks volume of how much Virat loves the Protea challenge in the longest format.

Virat Kohli. (AFP Photo)
From his 119 in his first game against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2013 to his highest score of 254 not out in Pune in 2019, Virat has mercilessly taken on South African bowlers in red-ball cricket. Out of his three tons vs the Proteas, 2 have come in South Africa on two different tours in 2013 and 2018.
In the five matches that Kohli has played in South Africa, he averages a staggering 55.80 with a highest score of 153 (Centurion). To go with that, Virat also has 3 fifties to his name as well against South Africa. As Virat’s two-year struggle for a big score continues, this South Africa series can be the perfect platform for the skipper to roar back to form and lead India to a much-awaited series win on South African soil.
Virat Kohli in Tests vs SA: M – 12 | Runs – 1,075 | HS – 254* | Avg – 59.72 | 100s – 3 | 50s – 3
Cheteshwar Pujara
India’s no.3 Cheteshwar Pujara is on his fourth tour of South Africa and this time, he will have the added responsibility of being India’s most experienced batter on the tour. Pujara, so far has played 14 matches against South Africa — out of them 7 have been in South Africa and nothing short of a strong performance is expected from the top order batsmen. Numbers wise, Pujara currently sits second behind Virat Kohli from the current squad, when it comes to scoring runs against South Africa.

Cheteshwar Pujara. (Twitter Photo)
With a total of 758 runs, Pujara has got important runs under his belt but he averages only close to 33, which might be a bit of a concern for him. But the 33-year-old will have the valuable experience of playing in South African conditions under his belt when he steps onto the field this time around.
Pujara’s lone ton against the South Africans in Tests was scored in South Africa (Johannesburg in 2013) and that might serve as a morale booster for him. Pujara also has 5 fifties against the Proteas. Currently fighting to save his place in the Test team, this series will serve as the ultimate test for Pujara. The way Pujara, who can be the anchor a team needs when in dire straits, performs in this series could also be a big factor in deciding which way the series goes for both the teams.
Cheteshwar Pujara in Tests vs SA: M – 14 | Runs – 758 | HS – 153 | Avg – 32.95 | 100s – 1 | 50s – 5
Ajinkya Rahane
Stripped of the Test vice-captaincy due to a poor run of form with the bat, the spotlight will also be on Ajinkya Rahane in the upcoming India-South Africa Test series. The 33-year-old has been short on runs and like Cheteshwar Pujara will also be fighting to hold on to his place in the team in the series. But Rahane’s past performance against South Africa might help him gain back some of his lost confidence.

Ajinkya Rahane. (BCCI Photo)
With a total of 748 runs in 10 Tests, Rahane currently sits third on the list of highest run-getters in the current India squad against the Proteas. With a total of 3 centuries and three fifties and runs at an average of over 57, Rahane could well provide the solidity the team needs at the number 5 slot.
Although Rahane hasn’t scored a ton in South Africa (highest of 96 in Durban in 2018), no one can forget his crucial 48 in the 2018 Johannesburg Test in 2018 that helped India register a famous victory. With a couple of fifties, Rahane also averages over 53 in South Africa and that will definitely be a huge source of confidence for him and Team India if he makes it into the playing XI in the upcoming series.
Ajinkya Rahane in Tests vs SA: M – 10 | Runs – 748 | HS – 127 | Avg – 57.53 | 100s – 3 | 50s – 3
Mayank Agarwal
With a rock-solid performance in the recently concluded India-New Zealand series under his belt, opener Mayank Agarwal will be brimming with confidence and raring to go out and make an impact on his maiden South Africa tour. Injuries to openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill have made Mayank a definite starter for the series at the top of the order and the 30-year-old will be looking to cash in on his rich form to help India accomplish a rare series win.

Mayank Agarwal. (AFP Photo)
Although Mayank has only played 3 Tests against South Africa so far, the thrashing he gave the Protea bowlers in the 2019 series in India will be the perfect confidence-booster for him when he takes the field for the first time in Centurion on December 26.
Mayank so far has 340 runs and currently sits fourth on the list of India’s highest run-getters against South Africa in the current squad. The Karnataka batsman has two centuries that also includes a ‘daddy hundred’ (215) and averages a mind-boggling 85.00 against South Africa in the longest format.
Mayank Agarwal in Tests vs SA: M – 3 | Runs – 340 | HS – 215 | Avg – 85 | 100s – 2 | 50s – 0
R Ashwin
India’s middle order conundrum has been a topic of hot debate for quite a while now, but more often than not, the lower order has come to save the day for the team. R Ashwin with the bat down the order has been the savior for India on many occasions.
The 35-year-old in fact is getting better and better with the bat, providing the perfect cushion to a currently fragile Indian middle order batting. Ashwin with the bat has been a revelation in the last few years and he also has a decent record against South Africa when it comes to Test cricket.

R Ashwin. (BCCI Photo)
With a total of 224 runs in 10 matches, Ashwin has got some good runs under his belt against the Proteas and it will definitely be an added advantage for India in the upcoming series. A fifty and runs at an average of over 22 makes Ashwin a decent batting option in South Africa to go with his mastery of spin bowling. With the ball Ashwin will definitely be a key man for Virat Kohli, but Ashwin could also be needed to come up with some resilient performances with the bat.
R Ashwin in Tests vs SA: M – 10 | Runs – 224 | HS – 56 | Avg – 22.40 | 100s – 0 | 50s – 1

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