SA vs India: First Test will be played without spectators
The first Test between South Africa and India, starting December 26 in Centurion, will be held behind closed doors. An Afrikaans language weekly newspaper, Rapport, informed that the decision has been taken, considering the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Africa. As per the report, only some suite-holders and delegates will be allowed to attend the match. Here are further details.
- India's tour of South Africa was shrouded in mystery with the emergence of the Omicron variant (COVID-19).
- However, the two boards unanimously gave a go-ahead to the tour.
- The month-long tour, which was supposed to start on December 17, will begin on December 26.
- As per the recent announcement, the Boxing Day Test will be played behind closed doors.
The organizers are yet to release the sale of tickets for the New Year Test as well. "Please note, no announcement has been made regarding ticket sales for the upcoming Test match at the #ImperialWanderers," a statement on the Twitter page of the stadium read. "At this point, it isn't clear if fans will be allowed. We will make further announcements in due course."
India reached South Africa earlier this week. They have started preparation for the marquee series under the watchful eyes of Rahul Dravid. India have never won a series in South Africa and the upcoming tour is the perfect opportunity for them to break their Proteas jinx. They will miss the services of senior batter Rohit Sharma, all-rounders Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja.
India's squad for SA Test series: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Priyank Panchal. Standby players: Navdeep Saini, Saurabh Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Arzan Nagwaswalla.
The first Test of the three-match series will begin on December 26 (Centurion). Johannesburg (January 3-7) and Cape Town (January 11-15) will host the following two Tests. Thereafter, Paarl will play host to the first two ODIs (January 19 and 21). The series decider will be held in Cape Town on January 23. Notably, the four-match T20I series got postponed.