India's record in Cape Town: How Team India has fared at Newlands over the years and why the odds look tough

Published on Jan 10, 2022 11:04 AM IST
  • India have played five Tests at the Newlands since their maiden appearance at the venue in 1993. They lost thrice and two others ended in a draw.
India's captain Virat Kohli, second from right, celebrates with teammates at end of the fifth day of the Test Cricket match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park(AP)
India's captain Virat Kohli, second from right, celebrates with teammates at end of the fifth day of the Test Cricket match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park(AP)

India had never won a Test in Centurion until last month when a sensational 113-run win brought them a step closer to a historic first Test series win in South Africa. With the hosts pulling off a seven-wicket win at the Wanderers, Team India need to defy history and odds yet again to live their dream of conquering the final frontier in Test cricket.

India have played five Tests at the Newlands since their maiden appearance at the venue in 1993. They lost thrice - by 282 runs in 1997, by 5 wickets in 2007 and by 72 runs in the 2018 series opener - and two others ended in a draw.

However more than their winless record, what adds to Team India's concern is South Africa's supremacy in Cape Town which remains the most successful venue for the home Team in Tests. The South African side has played most number of Tests at the this venue, with their maiden appearance in 1889, and recorded most number of wins as well, with a win-loss ratio of 1.238.

South Africa's dominance at the Newlands
South Africa's dominance at the Newlands

Moreover, 23 of their total victories at the venue and six of their total defeats came post their readmission after Apartheid in 1991. In fact, South Africa's win-loss ratio of 4.6 in Cape Town is the fourth-best by any Test team at a single venue since 1991 and the number of victories is the joint second-most by a side after Australia's record at the Gabba.

South Africa's record at Cape Town
South Africa's record at Cape Town

The third Test of the series against India will be South Africa's first red-ball game at the Newlands since January 2020. The visiting England team had beaten South Africa by 189 runs, which was their first defeat at the venue since March 2014. South Africa, however, haven't lost two consecutive Tests at Cape Town since 1957-1962.

The odds are stacked against the Indian side with the South African side brewing with confidence at that seven-wicket win last week. But Kohli's men have learned the art of defying history. They did it in the Australia series last January - beating Australia in the absence of many of their regular stars and then winning the Gabba Test and they did it in Centurion last month. 

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