India vs South Africa, 1st Test: Five India players to watch out forhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/india-vs-south-africa-1st-test-five-india-players-to-look-out-for/

India vs South Africa, 1st Test: Five India players to watch out for

India, South Africa begin four-match Test series with the first match in Mohali. Here are the five Indian players who can make a difference.

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Murali Vijay at the practice session in Mohali on Wednesday. (Source: PTI)

Murali Vijay: Vijay can put any bowling attack to the sword when he gets going. Known as the ‘Monk’, Vijay has the knack of playing long innings at will. In recent trips to England and Australia, he accounted for centuries that pushed opposition to the brink. Having not played for India in Sri Lanka, he will be eyeing to set the ball rolling for India at Mohali.

Ravindra Jadeja

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Ravindra Jadeja is making a comeback to the India team after 16 months. (Source: Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

The Saurashtra all-rounder comes back into the team on the back of splendind show with the ball in the ongoing Ranji Trophy. Having already bagged 37 wickets in three Ranji matches, Jadeja will be raring to have a go at the Proteas. His batting skills will only beef the hosts up lower down the order.

Ravichandran Ashwin

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R Aswin during practice session on the eve of the first Test against South Africa in Mohali. (Source: Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

Known as the ‘thinking bowler’, Ashwin is already termed as a ‘main threat’ by the opposition. Ashwin was the man to watch out for in the 3-match T20 series and was expected to keep flourishing with the white ball as the five-match ODI series was about to start. To everyone’s dismay, he got injured and India paid the price for it. Undoubtedly, he will head India’s spin attack at Mohali.

Cheteshwar Pujara

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Chestehwar Pujara will look to get some runs under his belt. (Source: PTI)

In the dominating presence of the Team India’s new poster boys – Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Pujara made a name for himself with sheer dedication and hard work. The right-hander was not even picked in the Test squad and had to give up his middle-order position as he made his way back in to the side at SSC, Colombo by opening the innings. But despite being out of comfort zone, the man not only shut his critics with a dashing knock, he also became only the fourth Indian opener after Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag to carry his bat.

Ishant Sharma

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Ishant Sharma will not be part of the first Test as he is serving a one-match ban by ICC. (Source: Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

The Lanky Delhi pacer was at the heart of the controversy in Sri lanka when he ran into Dhammika Prasad. He subsequently faced a lot of flak from former veteran cricketers, but performance wise, he is India’s best longer-version speedster at the moment. Zaheer Khan is gone, and the likes of Umesh and Aaron are still inconsistent. One name that crops in everyone’s mind in such a case has to be Ishant Sharma.