Ever since South Africa chose India to announce their return to international cricket in the post-apartheid era, the two nations have shared a special bond on the cricket field. However intense the rivalry on the pitch, mutual respect for each other never deserted the players. Despite the amiable relations and geniality off the pitch, the two teams have played some fierce encounters against each other.
In Test cricket, South Africa holds a slight edge over India in the head to head. While the Proteas have won 15 matches, India have registered 13 victories. India’s dominance in home conditions means they have lost just one series at home to the Proteas, which came right at the turn of the century. India are yet to win a series on South African soil, having lost 1-2 in their last attempt in 2018.
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Virat Kohli and his team though have wrapped up the ongoing series, after a comprehensive win in the second Test at Pune. The team which created a world record of most consecutive Test series wins at home, is now on the cusp of another special record. If Kohli’s Team India manages to win the Ranchi Test, it will be their maiden clean sweep over the Proteas.
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India came very close to achieving this feat during South Africa’s last tour in 2015, but were denied by the rain gods as the second Test in Bengaluru was washed out and India eventually won the 4-match series 3-0. But Ranchi presents a great opportunity to this team to complete a first ever whitewash.
This will also be the first ever whitewash by either of these teams against each other in a series comprising 3 or more matches. South Africa 2-0 win over India in India in 2000 remains the only series when a team won all the matches in a series.