IND vs SA: Full list of impressive records that await Kohli, Pujara, Rahane, Ashwin, Shami during South Africa Tests
IND vs SA: India's five senior-most cricketers will have a chance of achieving some incredible feats during the three Test series against South Africa starting Sunday.
Six tours and just three wins. That is how India's record in Test matches in South Africa stands currently. But in a few days' time, the Men in Blue stand a chance of making some alterations to this trivia and have a shot at creating history. India take on South Africa in the first Test in Centurion, and having laid waste to Australia and England on their soil, the No.1-ranked Test team in the world would look to add the Proteas to the list.
Having said that, for India to reign supreme in South Africa, would require a herculean effort from the players, especially the seniors, who themselves stand on the cusp of several impressive milestones. In fact, the likes of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammed Shami, R Ashwin and others would be eyeing some impressive individual feats as India gear up for the test of South Africa. In view of that, below is a list of some riveting stats and numbers that await India’s superstars.
The quintessential superstar batter of Indian cricket, Virat Kohli, with 97 Tests, is only three matches away from competing 100 Test matches for India. If Kohli goes on to play all three Tests, in the third game at Cape Town, the 33-year-old will become the 12th Indian cricketer to have taken part in a century of Test matches for the country and join an elite list of legendary players. Another impressive milestone which Kohli would have his eyes on and is likely to achieve, is of completing 8000 Test runs. With 7801 runs, Kohli is only 199 runs away from scaling Mount 8K, and six innings is a lot of time for the India captain to get there.
Struggling for form and runs, Cheteshwar Pujara would be eager to resurrect his career against South Africa. India's No. 3 batter has managed to score 758 runs against South Africa in 14 Tests, with five half-centuries and a best of 153 in Johannesburg back in December of 2013. If Pujara can score 142 more runs, he would take his tally against South Africa in Tests to 1000 runs. Pujara has 1893 runs against Australia and another 1699 against England, and can add South Africa as the third opponent to scale 1K against.
Like Pujara, Rahane too is battling woeful form, and like Pujara, Rahane too stands on the cusp of registering 1000 runs against South Africa. The 33-year-old batter has so far played 10 Tests against the Proteas, scoring 748 runs with three centuries and three fifties and needs 152 more to get to 1000 runs against South Africa. Australia is the only opponent Rahane has scored over 1000 runs against, with the next best being against England with 840 runs from 21 Tests. Besides, Rahane is three catches short of completing 100 of them in Test cricket.
R Ashwin, during his Player-of-the-Series worthy show against New Zealand, became India's third-highest wicket-taker in Tests, and the 35-year-old veteran off-spinner would be eyeing to go one better. With 427 wickets, Ashwin is only seven wickets away from equalling the great Kapil Dev, and one more strike would take him second on the list of India’s all-time highest wicket-takers, next only to Anil Kumble. Ashwin can also go past Dale Steyn, who is currently ahead of Ashwin by 12 wickets. Provided he plays all three Tests in South Africa – the chances of which are high with Ravindra Jadeja out injured – Ashwin looks set towards this feat.
Mohammed Shami was rested for the New Zealand Tests, and with his return, the 31-year-old quick would be looking to add another feather is his cap. Shami, currently with 195 wickets, is five strikes away from completing 200 scalps in Tests. If he gets there, Shami would become only the fifth Indian pacer to get there, after Kapil, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Javagal Srinath. Shami, who has picked up 21 wickets in five Tests in South Africa, needs eight more to pick up 100 Test wickets under Kohli's captaincy.