With the Test series between India and South Africa, named Freedom series 2018, a few days away, cricket enthusiasts from both the nations have pumped themselves up for an exciting period. While the hosts eye another triumph over India in Tests, the visitors have their sights set on maiden Test win.
India have never won a Test series in South Africa and a 1-1 draw in 2011 remains to be their best result in a Test series on those pacey pitches. The Test series is special for Proteas as India last toured there in 2013, losing 1-0 in a two-match Test series.
The hosts have reportedly worked hard and spent a lot on promotion for the series. However, a recently released video by the Proteas cricket has charmed one and all. In a minute-long video, South Africa gave a glimpse of some significant history and the relation it shares with India.
Starting with the visuals of Mahatma Gandhi, who helped South Africa gain freedom, to the commonality between the two countries’ freedom struggle, the video showcases the first Test played between the two and continues to roll on to the present.
Watch: Freedom Series 2018 ad
"A shared history of freedom through nonviolence and a love of cricket," read the last slide of the video.
From the days of British Raj in India and Apartheid in South Africa, the two nations share a lot of mutual respect for each other and common love for the game of cricket.
"The Freedom Series is the Test series between South Africa and India. It honours both nations test of character to achieve freedom through nonviolence, and their mutual love of cricket. It also recognises the fact that India was the first country to welcome back South Africa after readmission to international cricket," Proteas Cricket captioned the video on YouTube.
In the video, then South Africa captain Clive Rice can be seen joining hands and thanking touring India, while a banner held by South African spectators read, “South Africa says Thank You”.
Under the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin, India toured South Africa for the first time in 1992. After an end of the Apartheid era, South Africa was re-introduced into international cricket and India, establishing friendly relations with the Proteas, helped them on their breakthrough. The series was then named ‘The Friendship Series’.
While this emotional ad by South Africa has struck a chord, an ad released in India recently talks about ’25 saal ka badla’ (a revenge of 25 years).
Watch: ’25 saal ka badla’ ad for India’s tour of South Africa
The 50-minute-long ad is weaved around the fact that India have never returned home from South Africa with a Test series triumph. The promotional video shows the visuals of people leaving their food in discontent, a man cutting his moustache due to lost pride and shutting off tv sets in sheer discomfort.
“Ab badla lenge haar ka, intezar ka, bhagwan ke apmaan ka. (Now, we’ll take revenge of loss, wait and disrespect of god),” says the message in the ad.
Watching the two ads, one can figure out the difference in ideology. With India seem more desperate for victory and South Africa welcoming for an entertaining session, interesting would be observing what happens next in the series.
The three-match Test series will begin in Cape Town on January 5 and will be followed by six ODIs and three T20Is between the two countries.