'Don't see India winning this': Former opener makes bold prediction ahead of South Africa Test series

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Dec 25, 2021, 02:00 PM IST


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India will lock horns with South Africa in the first Test of the upcoming three-match series in Centurion from December 26. Former India batter has made a bold prediction ahead of the series.

India are all set to take on South Africa in a three-match Test series starting from December 26. The first Test will be a Boxing Day game that gets underway at the SuperSport Park in Centurion from Sunday. India are heading into the series on a confident note after defeating world Test champions New Zealand 1-0 in the recently-concluded two-match series at home but the South Africa series will be one of the most challenging assignments for the Virat Kohli-led side.

India have never won a Test series in South Africa and have managed only three wins in Test matches in the Rainbow nation so far in their cricketing history. India have always found it difficult to take down the Proteas in their own backyard in the longest format of the game.

However, with a South Africa team that is currently not on top of its game, and India running high on confidence with a number of talented players in their line-up, it might be a different result this time around. However, former India opener and popular commentator Aakash Chopra believes India won't be able to win the Test series in South Africa this year as well.

Speaking in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra predicted the three-match series to end in a 1-1 draw. He said he would have predicted South Africa to win it 2-1 but an injury to their premie pacer Anrich Nortje has improved India's chances in the Test series. Not just Nortje, South Africa are also set to miss Quinton De Kock for a part of the series.

"I don't see India winning this right now, I mean it is difficult. I would have said 2-1 for South Africa if Nortje was playing. Nortje is not there, I am saying this series can again end at 1-1. There is a chance of a drawn Test match, the first Test could be in slight trouble because of rain," said Chopra.

"It is going to be interesting but I feel this might be a drawn series. 51% South Africa, 49% India. That's what I am thinking at this point in time. If any team wins, I feel that will be South Africa," he added.

South Africa are no more the giants of Test cricket that they once were and have had to deal with a fair share of their own struggles. The team is in transition and will also miss former captain Faf du Plessis, who has already retired from the longest format. While admitting that the current South Africa side has not been able to produce the desired results, Chopra said the hosts have started to regroup well recently.

"It is not that South Africa's team is flying high. I think they are starting to regroup really well. The World Cup has shown that they have the players, where the things are falling in place but it is still a team in transition," said the former India batter.

India have their best chance to win a Test series in South Africa this year considering the talent and experience in their squad and the lack of big names in the South Africa line-up. Kohli, who has led India to some phenomenal wins overseas, will be looking to script history by inspiring the team to their maiden triumph against the Proteas in their own backyard.