New Delhi: After facing defeat in both the limited-overs formats at the hands of South Africa, Team India would be under immense pressure ahead of the Test series, scheduled to start from November 5.
Finding the right team combination could be key to success for skipper Virat Kohli. In the absence of spearhead Ishant Sharma, who is facing a one-match ban for his on-field antics in the 3rd Test against Sri Lanka, it would be a difficult task for the captain to pick his five bowlers, especially for the opening Test, which will be played at Mohali.
Poor form of Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the recently concluded ODI series is an area of major concern for the team management.
Two Indian bowlers, who in all likelihood will make a cut in the playing XI are Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra. They hunted in a pair against Sri Lanka and helped India win the three-match Test series.
Considering that spinners will get some purchase from the wicket and vulnerability of Proteas against turning ball, could push Kohli to go for three spinners in the opening Test. Only in that case, Ravindra Jadeja, who made a comeback in the Test squad after 14 months, will find a place.
After Jadeja's terrific form with bat and ball in current Ranji Trophy season, he could emerge as a serious threat to the Proteas.
On rank turners, the left-arm spinner has the reputation of making life difficult for batsmen. His ability to contribute useful runs lower down the order will also give some depth to Indian batting line-up.