The moustachioed left-arm speedster Mitchell Johnson has been a constant threat for the tourists, who are almost certain to go 2-0 down in the five-Test series, with one pundit predicting the Ashes could be decided in a total of just 11 days.
Thursday's 141-run defeat in the first ODI at Johannesburg may be blamed on a poor Indian bowling performance but the plan to land in South Africa just three days before a challenging series is not a very good idea.
Varun Aaron, considered to be genuinely quick before his back injury, played in the IPL for Delhi Daredevils in 2012 but was again troubled by his back and had to undergo surgery in March this year.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and ODI star opener Shikhar Dhawan are both on the brink of making several records in the ODI series starting Thursday at the Wanderers in Johannesburg
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been named in the ICC ODI XI for the sixth consecutive year while Alastair Cook appears in the Test team for the third straight year. Virat Kohli seems to have lost the race against South African No. 3 batting star Hashim Amla.
Former South Africa player and chief of selectors talks to MiD DAY about India's 'toughest of challenges for a long time'.
The journey from a small town in Uttar Pradesh to the maidans in Kolkata and all the way to the Indian national team has been no less than a fairytale for Mohammad Shami. All that the pacer now wants is his reverse swing to bowl over batsmen in South Africa. After all, there is no sound better than ball on timber, Shami tells sports.ndtv.com.
The Indian team is on a high with resounding wins in the recent past. While several greats have retired, the newcomers have shown enormous talent. Their skills though would be put to the ultimate test when they face hosts South Africa - a team that has never lost to India at home.
Vernon Philander earned his second-best ODI figures of three for 26 in the third and final ODI against Pakistan on Saturday.
After a near-perfect year, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team have their task cut out in the upcoming tour of South Africa in December. NDTVCricket takes a look at the top Indians who are expected to make a mark in the two-Test, three-ODI series.
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