The Indian cricket team did the customary ‘team headshots’ in Johannesburg, signalling their intent as they go into the three-Test series, scheduled to commence on Boxing Day (December 26), full of confidence.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted a short video on Wednesday of the cricketers getting their ‘headshots’, with players trooping in one after the other to get their profiles clicked by a photographer in personal protective equipment (PPE).
The BCCI tweeted, “Team Headshots done. Just a few sleeps away from the first Test. We cannot wait.”
Skipper Virat Kohli, No. 18, was the first to go for the ‘headshots’, followed by KL Rahul, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, Mohd Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, Mohd Siraj, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin, among others.”
Shami also posted his ‘headshots’ on his twitter handle and wrote, “Headshot #mshami11”.
Both teams are gearing up for the Test with India head coach Rahul Dravid stressing on “quality practice” and “good intensity”, even as the hosts suffered a massive blow on Tuesday as their pace bowler Anrich Nortje was ruled out of the Test series due to a “persistent” hip injury.
The CSA also said that no replacement would be brought in for Nortje, who has been South Africa’s premier fast bowler across formats in recent times.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) posted images on Wednesday of the South African team practice session and tweeted, “Preparations are in full swing in the South Africa camp for the exciting Boxing Day Test against India.”
India have never won a Test series in South Africa, something skipper Kohli would want to change this time around.