South Africa vs India: How India Have Fared Against The Proteas Over The Years | Cricket News


Virat Kohli-led Team India landed in South Africa on Thursday ahead of a three-match Test series against the Proteas, starting December 26. Freedom series, as it is called, has historical and cultural references that transcend times. Looking back at history, the Indian team has always had a hard time whenever it has played in South Africa, especially in Test cricket. In their previous seven visits to the Rainbow Nation, India endured drubbings on six occasions. Ahead of the upcoming three-match Test series starting on Boxing Day, here is a look at how the Indian team fared in South Africa over the years:

1. India’s tour of South Africa, 1992-93

Nearly three decades back, Mohammed Azharuddin became the first captain to lead India to South Africa after the apartheid era.

Despite ending in a draw, the first Test was a historic one for three different reasons.

Firstly, Omar Hendricks, who became South Africa’s first ever black cricketer to play a Test match and also the oldest debutant (40 years and 295 days).

Secondly, Sachin Tendulkar, who was only 19 at that time, became the first player to be dismissed by TV replay during the first Test.

And last but not the least, Kepler Wessels, who had also represented Australia, also became the first player to score centuries for two nations.

The second Test in Johannesburg also ended in a draw as both teams played a seven-match ODI series (SA won 5-2) between the second and third Test.

South Africa defeated India by nine wickets in the third Test as the visitors were outplayed in Port Elizabeth ahead of the final Test in Cape Town, which also ended in a draw.

South Africa won the four-match series 1-0.

2. India’s tour of South Africa, 1996-97

Buoyed by their 2-1 win on home soil, Tendulkar-led Team India visited South Africa for three Tests, followed by a triangular ODI series, also featuring Zimbabwe.

However, the Indian team endured a drubbing as it did not win a single game against the Proteas, be it in Test cricket or white-ball games.

The hosts won the first two Tests in Durban and Cape Town by hefty margins of 328 and 282 runs, respectively.

The third Test in Johannesburg ended in a draw despite Rahul Dravid’s maiden Test hundred.

India lost the three-match series 0-2.

3. India’s tour of South Africa, 2001-02

This was India’s third tour of South Africa with a third different captain as Sourav Ganguly led the team for a three-match Test series.

Virender Sehwag announced his arrival in Test cricket by slamming 105 in the first Test. However, Shaun Pollock’s 10-wicket-haul saw South Africa register a nine-wicket win in Bloemfontein.

The second Test in Port Elizabeth ended in a stalemate.

Ahead of the final Test in Centurion, match referee Mike Denness suspended Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Shiv Sundar Das and Deep Dasgupta for a Test for excessive appealing. Ganguly was also banned for one Test and two ODIs while Tendulkar was suspended for a Test for ball-tampering charges and was labelled a cheat.

The ICC stripped the final game of Test status after India decided to include Sehwag in the team, accusing the apex board of discrimination. However, South Africa won the unofficial third Test by an innings and 73 runs.

4. India’s tour of South Africa, 2006-07

Rahul Dravid took over the reins of the Indian team amid the infamous controversy involving Ganguly and head coach Greg Chappell.

India won the first Test in Johannesburg by 123 runs thanks to an inspired performance from S Sreesanth.

However, South Africa bounced back with a 174-run win in the Durban Test ahead of the series-decider in Cape Town.

The hosts won the third and final Test by five wickets, claiming the series 2-1.

5. India’s tour of South Africa, 2010-11

This was MS Dhoni’s first tour of South Africa as captain of India, who were ranked the No. 1 Test side at the time.

However, the visitors got a reality check in the first Test as Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel dominated the Indian batters.

Jacques Kallis slammed a double ton while Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers scored a century each as South Africa won the game by an innings and 25 runs.

With India’s backs against the wall following Steyn’s six-wicket-haul in the first innings, VVS Laxman rose to the occasion, playing crucial knocks in both innings of the second Test in Durban.

The Indian bowlers triggered South Africa’s batting collapses as India eventually won the game by 87 runs and levelled the series 1-1.

The third and final Test ended in a draw after Hashim Amla and Irfan Pathan scored centuries for their teams.

After five attempts, India finally managed to avoid a Test series defeat in South Africa.

6. India’s tour of South Africa, 2014-15

India were eyeing their first Test series win in South Africa with Dhoni at the helm for the second successive tour.

With Sachin Tendulkar having hung up his boots ahead of the series, Virat Kohli was promoted up the order and had a point to prove in the two-match series.

In the Johannesburg Test, Kohli did exactly that as his knocks of 119 and 96 saw India dominate the first three days of the Test.

However, AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis’ tons almost won the game for South Africa as the match ended in a draw.

Playing his 166th and final Test, Kallis slammed a farewell ton to take South Africa to a massive total of 500 in the next match.

Having already bowled out India for 334 in the first innings, the hosts then steamrolled the visitors for 223 in the second innings, setting a 58-run target for themselves.

They won the game without any hiccup and took the series 1-0.

7. India’s tour of South Africa, 2017-18

Kohli took charge of the Indian Test team outside the sub-continent for the first time.

The first Test was a real eye-opener for the touring party as Vernon Philander’s bowling exploits guided South Africa to a 73-run win in Cape Town.

In the second Test, Virat Kohli slammed a brilliant 150 in the first innings but the rest of the Indian batters continued to struggle.

Lungi Ngidi took six wickets in the second innings as Kohli’s sode folded for 151 in the second innings.

South Africa won the game by 135 runs and took a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Already down and out, India salvaged some pride in a low-scoring Johannesburg Test as Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred with an all-round performance.


His four-wicket haul and crucial knocks in both innings saw India edge out South Africa by 63 runs.

India lost the series 1-2.

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