South Africa are set to take on India in
Centurion on December 26 for the first Test of three-match Test series. This
will be their first Test series in over six months. A successful away series in
June this year, a 2-0 victory against West Indies, was their last Test

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As the Proteas take on India in an important
series, eyes will be on these five South African cricketers who could play
vital roles against India.

Dean Elgar

Captain Dean Elgar is the senior-most member of
the South African team and the team is heavily reliant on his batting. His form
will be critical for the Proteas during the series against India.

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A copybook batter, Elgar scored 4347 runs in 69
matches at an average of 39.51. While playing against India, the opener had
scored a giant hundred (160) at Visakhapatnam when South Africa visited India
two years back in October 2019. But Elgar managed to score only 576 runs
against India at an average of 33.88 in 19 innings.

The Proteas skipper will look to lead his team
from the front in this home series.

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Quinton de Kock             

Another key player in the South African rank is
wicket-keeper batter, Quinton de Kock. He is a hard hitter of the ball. He
along with Temba Bavuma and Rassi van der Dussen will be key players for the
Proteas against India.

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De Kock in 89 Tests scored 3245 runs at a
decent average of 39.09, which included six hundred and 22 fifties. But his
report card against India is not very impressive. In 12 innings, he could
accumulate just 227 runs at an average of 18.91 with only one hundred – 111 in
Visakhapatnam in October 2019.  de Kock
will look to improve his tally against India this time around.

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Kagiso Rabada

The pace spearhead of the South African team,
Kagiso Rabada will pose a huge challenge to the Indian batters in South
Africa’s seam friendly conditions.

Rabada has taken 213 wickets in 47 Tests.
However, against India, his report plummets slightly bit. He has taken 24
wickets in 9 Tests at an average of 29.16 against India. And his strike rate of
60.8 against India is his worst amongst his numbers against all Test-playing
nations. But in South Africa, Rabada took 15 wickets against India in three
Tests at an average of 20.27 and a strike rate of 41.7.

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Anrich Nortje

Anrich Nortje is very quick and he clocks
150kmph commonly. He is likely to be a fairly useful weapon against Indian
batters in South African situations. Nortje’s deadly bouncers will add further
fear to the minds of Indian batters.

Since making his wicketless Test debut against
India in Pune in October 2019, Nortje has covered a great distance and so far
taken 47 wickets in 12 matches for the Proteas. He has an excellent average of
28.10 and a strike rate of 46.4, whereas taking three five-wicket hauls.

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Coming into the India series, taking 25 wickets
in five Tests this year, Nortje can be a useful weapon against India.

Duanne Olivier

Pacer Duanne Olivier may make his Test comeback
for South Africa after virtually three years of Kolpak-enforced absence.
Olivier was outstanding in 10 Tests he played for South Africa before signing
the controversial Kolpak deal. He took 48 wickets at an average of 19.25.

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Olivier is the second Kolpak-returnee to be
chosen for the nationwide squad after Wayne Parnell. With situations
anticipated to favour the fast bowlers, he could be a handy inclusion in the
South African team.

The pacer is broadly recognised for his
wicket-taking abilities in South African situations.