International Cricket

India vs South Africa 1st Test Playing 11 2023 – Rohit to Lead

Rohit Sharma back to lead as we look at the confirmed playing 11 for India vs South Africa 2023 1st Test match.

Having tied the T20 series 1-1 and won the ODI series 2-1, Team India begin their final battle against South Africa with the 2-match Test series. July 2023 was the last time India played a Test match, and after a gap of almost 6 months, the Men-in-blue will be back to playing the longest and the most challenging format in perhaps the most difficult playing conditions in South Africa. 

Centurion is the place for the first Test match between India and South Africa. India’s most recent victory in a Test match came at Centurion in 2021 when the Virat Kohli-led Indian team defeated the high-flying South African team by 113 runs. Even after taking the lead in the series, India lost two matches to South Africa after that to lose the series 1-2.

If we look at the squad that played against South Africa at Centurion, Rohit Sharma wasn’t even a part of that squad. We now have Rohit Sharma at the helm, and only KL Rahul, Kohli, Ashwin, Bumrah, and Siraj are the ones who were a part of the previous tour. With so many new players, and Shami not available, it would be very interesting to see how Team India copes in South African conditions.

Overall, India have won only 4 Test matches in South Africa, having played a total of 23 Test matches. Nevertheless, as we wait for the Test match to begin, let’s look at the key match details, the official squad, and the India vs South Africa 2023 1st Test match confirmed playing 11 for both teams. 

Match Details:

Tournament: India Tour of South Africa 2023

Type: 1st Test Match

Where: Centurion

When: December 26-30, 1:30 pm IST onwards

India vs South Africa 2023 – Official Test Series Squad for the Indian Team:

Batters: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Rohit Sharma (c), Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli & Yashasvi Jaiswal

WKs: KL Rahul & KS Bharat

All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin & Shardul Thakur

Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar & Prasidh Krishna

Team India’s Playing 11

Even before the Test series begins, India have already suffered three big blows as Ishan Kishan is ruled out due to mental fatigue, Mohammed Shami has failed to recover on time, and Ruturaj Gaikwad has been ruled out due to injury. Team India have replaced them with KS Bharat and Abhimanyu Easwaran, but will this lead to a change in the first-choice playing 11 for India?

Well, if we talk about the confirmed playing 11 members for India, we have Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal as openers. These two are followed by Shubman Gill at 3, Virat Kohli at 4, and Shreyas Iyer at 5. These 5 are fixed for India no matter what the playing conditions are. But after 5 is what makes things interesting. 

Among the keepers, India had two options in the form of Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul. Now that Kishan isn’t a part of the squad, it is almost fixed that KL Rahul will donn the wicket-keeping duties for the first time in test matches. With KL Rahul at 6, we should definitely see Ravindra Jadeja, the all-rounder at number 7. 

Biggest Question for India?

Now comes the biggest question. Whether India go ahead with 4 pacers or select 3 pacers and 1 spin combination. The WTC final squad saw India playing 4 pacers when the conditions demanded Ashwin to play. But Centurion conditions are more conducive to pace bowling, and hence, it seems India may once again leave out Ashwin, and play Shardul as the fourth pacer. 

Coming to the pacers, India are without one of their first-choice pacer Mohammed Shami. Had Shami been there, India would have played the trio of Bumrah, Shami, and Siraj. But with Shami not there, India have to choose one between Mukesh Kumar and Prasidh Krishna. While both are potent bowlers, Mukesh shall see the preference; purely as being a better seam bowler.  

India vs South Africa 2023: 1st Test Confirmed Playing 11 for the Indian Team:

Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mukesh Kumar & Mohammed Siraj

India vs South Africa 2023 – Official Test Squad List for the SA

Batters: Aiden Markram, , , Tony de Zorzi


All-rounders: Marco Jansen, Nandre Burger & Wiaan Mulder

Bowlers: , Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj & Lungi Ngidi

South Africa’s Playing 11 

Coming to South Africa, we should see Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar as openers. Following these two shall be Tony de Zorzi, Captain Temba Bavuma, and Keegan Petersen. Kyle Verreynne should donn the wicket-keeping duties. Whereas Marco Jansen and Wiaan Mulder should be the two pace all-rounders in the team. While Lungi Ngidi and Gerald Coetzee should lead the pace duties, Keshav Maharaj should be the lone spinner in the squad. 

India vs South Africa 2023: 1st Test Confirmed Playing 11 for the SA:

Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma (c), Keegan Petersen, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Marco Jansen, Wiaan Mulder, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj & Lungi Ngidi

Top Fantasy Players 11 for India vs South Africa 1st Test 2023

Batters: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli & Temba Bavuma

Wks: KL Rahul

All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja & Marco Jansen

Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Lungi Ngidi, Mohammed Siraj & Gerald Coetzee

CVC Choice: Jasprit Bumrah & Lungi Ngidi

Please note, don’t forget to check our Telegram channel for fresh Fantasy 11 updates based on Toss, ground conditions, etc. 

Thanks for reading! What’s your playing 11 for the India vs South Africa clash 1st Test 2023? Please email your thoughts to

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