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Updated December 26th, 2023 at 23:19 IST

Ravi Shastri says India could have won 2 Test series in South Africa if not for THIS player

Ravi Shastri expressed that the current Test series in South Africa presents India with their prime opportunity to secure a victory.

Vishal Tiwari
Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri | Image:Star Sports
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India and South Africa are currently engaged in the first Test of their two-match series. The Boxing Day Test match began on Tuesday, December 26. South Africa captain Temba Bavuma won the toss and elected to bowl first against a new-look Indian side, who is looking to win their maiden Test in the Rainbow nation.  

3 things you need to know

  • India finished the day at 208/8 in 59 overs as rain stopped the play
  • KL Rahul is still intact in the middle at a score of 70
  • Kagiso Rabada picked up a five-wicket haul for South Africa

Ravi Shastri lauds Vernon Philander

Ravi Shastri, the former head coach of the Indian cricket team, expressed that the current Test series in South Africa presents India with their prime opportunity to secure a victory. Shastri suggested that India's chances are heightened not necessarily due to having a superior team compared to the hosts, who seem relatively less experienced than their predecessors, but mainly because South Africa is without the services of Vernon Philander. 

Although Shastri's remarks may carry a lighthearted tone, he contends that India might have clinched at least two Test series in South Africa if Philander had been absent.

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"This is India's best chance, you know why? Because this bloke is not playing," Shastri said on Star Sports. Philander was standing next to Shastri when the former India all-rounder lauded him. 

Vernon Philander boasts an impressive track record against Indian teams on home turf, having participated in five matches during their tours in 2013 and 2018 - two games in 2013 and three in 2018. The proficient right-arm medium pacer, particularly effective with the new ball, secured 25 wickets in those five Tests, maintaining an impressive average of 18.

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Published December 26th, 2023 at 23:19 IST

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