India's Predicted XI vs South Africa, 1st Test: Will Ashwin Get A Chance?

Here is what we think could be India's playing XI for 1st Test against South Africa:

India's Predicted XI vs South Africa, 1st Test: Will Ashwin Get A Chance?

With an aim to register their maiden Test series win in South Africa, India will face the Proteas in the 1st Test of the two-match series, starting December 26 at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Veterans Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will be back in the team alongside pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as India will restart their quest for the historic series win. India have played a total of 8 Test series in South Africa. Out of that, they lost 7 and drew 1. Under the captaincy of Rohit, the Indian team will aim to turn the tables this time.

Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of the series while Ishan Kishan has opted out due to "personal reasons".

Here is what we think could be India's playing XI for 1st Test against South Africa:

Rohit Sharma (c): It will be the first game for the India skipper post the Cricket World Cup 2023 final heartbreak. He will aim to forget the past and march into the first Test with added energy as India continue their quest to clinch their maiden Test series win in South Africa.

Yashasvi Jaiswal: It will be a superb test for the prodigy, who has shown promising signs at the start of his international career. India are likely to give him chance as an opener.

Shubman Gill: The star batter will also be in the spotlight, especially if he bats at number 3 - a position that for long belonged to the solid Cheteshwar Pujara. As India aim to move forward without the Test veteran, Gill's performance in the tough South Africa tour will speak a lot about the impact of the decision.

Virat Kohli: The right-handed batter will be back into the Indian colours after a break post the Cricket World Cup final. He is touring the side as a batter this time, unlike the previous series in 2021-21 in which he was the captain. However, Kohli will anyhow be having the same hunger to score runs and to win the match for his team.

Shreyas Iyer: In his 10-match Test career, Iyer has proved himself really well but South Africa will be a different challenge for him, especially because short balls have been a nemesis for him in the past.

KL Rahul (wk): Apart from giving his crucial contributions with the bat, KL Rahul will also be the man behind the stumps in South Africa. He duly impressed with his improved wicketkeeping in the ODIs and now a new test awaits the classy player.

Ravindra Jadeja: The southpaw will be another crucial member in the Indian team during the South Africa Test series. While spinners don't get much help from the pace-friendly surfaces in the country, Jadeja's quality to contain runs will play a huge role for India.

Shardul Thakur: His swing bowling on the pace-friendly wicket of South Africa could play an important role in providing breakthroughs to India. However, it will be a good test for Shardul Thakur the batter.

Prasidh Krishna: Given the kind of bounce the right-arm pacer extracts from any surface, he might get a chance ahead of Mukesh Kumar. He could be used to fill the spot left vacant by Mohammed Shami, who is out of series due to injury.

Jasprit Bumrah: The pace spearhead will be returning to the Indian team after a break post the World Cup. Bumrah is a star performer on any surface and the conditions in South Africa will be a treat for him.

Mohammed Siraj: Over the years, Siraj has transformed himself into one of the best active pacers in Test cricket. India will be needing crucial breakthroughs from him.