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8-0: A look at India’s woeful Test record in South Africa; Can Rohit Sharma’s side get India its first test series win on South African Soil?

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India has played eight Test series against South Africa in South Africa but is yet to register a series win against the Proteas. India has managed to win only three Test matches in the country so far. Here is a look back at the results of India’s Test series in South Africa:

India’s Tour to South Africa, 1992-93: Result- India lost the series 1-0

In the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin, India visited South Africa for the first time for a 4-match series. India could manage to draw the first, second, and fourth test matches whereas the third test match was won by the hosts by 9 Wickets in Port Elizabeth. Kepler Wessels was the highest run-getter in the series with 295 runs from 4 matches at an average of 42.14 with 1 century and 1 fifty whereas Sachin Tendulkar was the highest run-getter from India with 202 runs at an average of 33.67 from 4 matches with 1 Century and 1 fifty. Allan Donald was the highest wicket-taker in the series with 20 wickets that included 2 fifers.

India’s Tour to South Africa, 1996-97: Result- India lost the series 2-0

In the captaincy of Sachin Tendulkar, India landed in South Africa to play a 3-match test series. India was brutally thrashed in the first 2 test matches by 328 runs and 282 runs in Durban and Cape Town respectively but managed to draw the third match by an amazing batting performance by Rahul Dravid who scored 1 century and a fifty in the third match. Brian Macmillan ended as the highest run-getter of the series with 296 runs at an average of 98.67 while Rahul Dravid was the leading run-getter of India in the series with 277 runs at an average of 55.40. Yet again, Allan Donald picked up 20 wickets in the series and emerged as the highest wicket take of the series.

India’s Tour to South Africa, 2001-02: Result- India lost the series 1-0

This was the first tour of India to South Africa under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly and the tour started poorly for India as India lost the first match of a 2-match test series by 9 wickets in Bloemfontein. India managed to draw its second match at Port Elizabeth with some amazing performances from Javagal Srinath with the bowl and Laxman, Rahul Dravid, and Deep Dasgupta with the bat. Herschelle Gibbs was the highest run-getter in the series with 316 runs at an average of 79 while Sachin Tendulkar was the highest run-getter from India with 193 runs at an average of 64.33. Shaun Pollock was the leading wicket taker in the series with 16 wickets that included 2 fifers and 1 4-fer.

India’s Tour to South Africa, 2006-07: Result- India lost the series 2-1

Rahul Dravid led India to their first-ever test victory on South African soil in their fourth attempt by defeating South Africa in the first match of a 3-match test series in Johannesburg by 123 runs on the back of an all-round performance from Team India. But, South Africa bounced back in the next 2 matches by winning both of them comfortably and eventually winning the series 2-1. Ashwell Prince was the highest run-getter in the series with 306 runs at an average of 61.20 while Sourav Ganguly was the leading run-getter from India with 214 runs at an average of 42.80. S Sreesanth emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the series with 18 wickets that included a couple of 4-fers and one fifer.

India’s Tour to South Africa, 2010-11: Result- India levelled the series 1-1

India managed to draw a test series for the first time on South African soil under the captaincy of the legendary captain MS Dhoni who later went on to win the ODI World Cup for India in 2011. India got off to an abysmal start in the first test match of a 3-match test series and lost the match by an innings and 25 runs but with some positives that came while batting in the second innings of the test match with a century from legendary Sachin Tendulkar and crucial Fifties from Dhoni, Gambhir, and Sehwag. India went on to win the second match by 87 runs in Durban with some amazing performances from Laxman, Zaheer, Sreesanth, and Harbhajan. The last match in Cape Town ended in a draw. Jacques Kallis ended up as the leading run-getter in the series with 498 runs at an average of 166 while Sachin Tendulkar yet again was the leading run-getter from India with 326 runs at an average of 81.50. Dale Steyn ended up as the leading wicket taker of the series with 21 wickets that included one 4-fer and a couple of fifers.

India’s Tour to South Africa, 2013-14: Result- India lost the series 1-0

For the second time under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, India visited South Africa with a dream of winning the test series on South African soil. India started the series convincingly by drawing the first match of the 2-match test series in Johannesburg but the hosts came back strongly in the second match and thumped India by 10 wickets in Durban. Cheteshwar Pujara emerged as the leading run-getter in the series with 280 runs from 2 matches at an average of 70. Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn were the highest wicket-takers with 10 wickets each.

India’s Tour to South Africa, 2017-18: Result- India lost the series 2-1

The first-ever Test series of Virat Kohli as India’s captain in South Africa ended in a 2-1 defeat. South Africa won the first two games by 72 runs and 135 runs in Cape Town and Centurion respectively to clinch the series before India won the third and final Test by 63 runs in Johannesburg. Virat Kohli was the highest run-getter in the series with 286 runs at an average of 47.67. Shami, Philander, and Rabada were the highest wicket-takers in the series with 15 wickets each which includes one fifer each for Shami and Philander.

India’s Tour to South Africa, 2021-22: Result- India lost the series 2-1

Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli for the second time, India landed in South Africa for a 3-match test series and started the tour convincingly by winning the first test match by 113 runs in Centurion which included a glorious ton by opener KL Rahul. But, the hosts bounced back and won the next two matches in Johannesburg and Cape Town by 7 wickets each. Keegan Peterson was the highest run-getter in the series with 276 runs at an average of 46. KL Rahul was the highest run-getter from India with 226 runs at an average of 37.67. Rabada finished as the highest wicket-taker of the series with 20 wickets.

India will be playing its first test match against South Africa in Centurion from Dec 26th, 2023, in the ongoing series. It will be interesting to see if Rohit Sharma and his team can come back with a test series win.

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