Time for Men in Blue to salvage some pride today
Following their unsuccessful tours of Australia and Bangladesh (for the Asia Cup), Team India would look to make a fresh start before the cash-rich Indian Premier League V starts when they take on South Africa in a one-off Twenty fixture here today.
Jacques Kallis will get a special award during the India match. Pic/Getty
The announcement of the match, which is being organised to commemorate 150 years of the settlement of the Indians in South Africa, was made as recently as March 5. It was one of the last acts of Gerald Majola before he was suspended as Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive following a judicial report on undeclared bonuses paid to him. The Indians are not in the best of form given the poor show the team has put up in the last few months.
On the other hand, the Proteas are in extremely good form after their successful tour of New Zealand. They defeated New Zealand in the Twenty20, one-day and Test series.
But South Africa have picked only eight of the squad which won a T20 series in New Zealand last month, resting all their Test players with the exception of Jacques Kallis, who will be the recipient of a special award at the match.
The South African Test squad arrived back just over 48 hours ahead of the Wanderers game. CSA will contribute to the Jacques Kallis Foundation, which provides scholarships for talented cricketers from under-privileged areas to attend leading cricket schools. Kallis said he would, in turn, assist the Yuvraj Singh Foundation. The South African squad includes three uncapped players and will be led by off-spinner Johan Botha in the absence of the regular captain AB de Villiers and vice-captain Hashim Amla.
Since the IPL is beginning exactly five days after the match, the game would help players get into the slam-bang mode.
India: MS Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda.
South Africa: Johan Botha (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Rusty Theron, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne van Wyk, Dane Vilas.