Following a much successful home season and tying the knot with long-time girlfriend Anushka Sharma, Virat Kohli gears up for a tough overseas challenge, starting with South Africa, where the men-in-blue will play a lengthy series comprising three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is.
The opening Test of the three-match Test series will be played in Cape Town from January 5 to 9. India have never won a series in South Africa before, a fact that intensifies the expectations from the current Test squad that crushed teams like Bangladesh, Australia and Sri Lanka in past one year.
India vs South Africa Full Cricket Schedule : Fixtures, Timings, Venue, Results, Preview and Live Streaming
As India eye breakthrough this time in South Africa, let's recall the previous outings of the national team on those bouncy wickets.
1992/93 - South Africa 1-0
After the end of the Apartheid era, South Africa returned to the international cricket and that is when India helped the nation. Under the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin, India became the first team to tour South Africa for a Test series. The series was then named 'The Friendship Series'.
Clive Rice-led South Africa didn't disappoint their home crowd and clinched the four-match Test series by 1-0. It was a complete bowlers' series as delighting in the low-scoring games, South African pacer Allan Donald was given 'The Man of The Series' award. For India, Javagal Srinath put a strong fightback with the ball, claiming 'The Man of The Match' award in the last Test in Cape Town.
1996/97 - South Africa 2-0
By 1997, when India toured South Africa for the second time, South Africa had tightened their grip on Test cricket. Under the captaincy of Hansie Cronje, South Africa sealed the three-match Test series by 2-0.
India's batting great Sachin Tendulakar couldn't do magic while leading the side in the Test series. Rahul Dravid, however, emerged as a lone successful batsman after he scored 148 and 81 in successive innings of the third and final match to clinch 'The Man of The Match' title.
2001/02 - South Africa 1-0
During India's tour of South Africa in 2001/02, Tendulkar excelled with a 155-run knock to bring hopes for the visitors. Thanks to his effort, India reach a comfortable total of 379 runs. However, South Africa rode on centuries by Herschelle Gibbs and Lance Klusener to post a mammoth total of 563 runs. In the second innings, Shaun Pollak, who was later bestowed with 'The Man of The Match' award, shone with the ball and claimed six wickets to wrap India for 237 runs. Emphatically, South Africa won the first Test by nine wickets.
The second Test couldn't see a result but Gibbs continued to impress, scoring 196 runs to mark dominance over the Indian bowlers. The Proteas clinched the two-match series by 1-0.
2006/07 - South Africa 2-1
It was during 2006/07 tour of South Africa when India registered their maiden Test match win. Under the captaincy of Dravid, the Indians outclassed the Proteas by 123 runs in the first Test to take a 1-0 lead. Pacer S Sreesanth claimed eight wickets in successive innings to claim 'The Man of The Match' award.
South Africa, led by Graeme Smith, returned stronger in the next two matches, handing India a 174-run and five-wicket win to clinch the three-match series. Pacer Pollock was bestowed with 'The Player of The Series' award in the end.
2010/11 - South Africa 1-1
Under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, India registered their best series result in South Africa after they managed to draw the three-match series by 1-1. Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara were the players from the current squad that toured South Africa in 2010/11.
South Africa started the series well after defeating India by an innings and 25 runs in the first Test at Centurion. Middle-order batsman VVS Laxman slammed a 96-run knock as India won the second Test by 87 runs. The third and the final Test in Cape Town ended in a draw and the two teams had to share the silverware.
2013/14 - South Africa 1-0
India's last tour of South Africa in 2013/14 saw the rise of Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli, who defeating the odds, performed comparatively well. Though, their grit couldn't result in a win and South Africa sealed the cup again by 1-0 in a two-Test series. Kohli and Pujara scored a century each in the first Test in Johannesburg, which ended in a draw. The current Indian captain was presented with 'The Man of The Match' award for scoring 119 and 96 in successive innings. In Durban, India lost the second match by 10 wickets and series by 1-0.