The Proteas are set to play three Tests against India from 26 December 2021 to 15 January 2022, with plenty of work having gone on behind the scenes to ensure this tour could go ahead despite concerns around the fourth wave of Covid-19 in South Africa.
The series will form part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship and will be hosted in three venues: SuperSport Park, Wanderers and Newlands, respectively.
India has a poor Test record in South Africa, having won only three of the 20 matches played, but Pujara is confident the visiting team have enough bowling firepower to compete in SA conditions.
“Our fast bowlers have been the difference between the two sides whenever we have played abroad,” said Pujara in a video provided by BCCI.
“If you look at the Australia series, even if you look at the England series, we have done exceptionally well as a bowling unit and I am sure that will be the case even in South Africa. Our fast bowlers are our strength and I hope that they will be able to utilise these conditions and give us 20 wickets in each and every Test match.
“This is the best opportunity for us to win our first series in South Africa. So all of us are looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, in big news for the Proteas recently, it’s been confirmed that wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock is expected to miss at least the third and final Test against India in order to be at the birth of his first child.
De Kock’s wife Sasha is expected to give birth in early January, which could mean that the keeper-batsman also misses the second five-day clash as well.
South Africa’s selection convener Victor Mpitsang confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that he expects de Kock “to miss the last Test”, which could result in one of Kyle Verreynne or Ryan Rickelton stepping in to replace De Kock.
India v South Africa Test schedule
26-30 December 21 | 1st WTC Test vs India | SuperSport Park, Centurion
3-7 January 22 | 2nd WTC Test vs India | Wanderers, Johannesburg
11-15 January 22 | 3rd WTC Test vs India | Newlands, Cape Town
Proteas Test squad
Dean Elgar (captain, Titans), Temba Bavuma (vice-captain, Lions), Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper, Titans), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Sarel Erwee (Dolphins), Beuran Hendricks (Western Province), George Linde (Western Province), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Aiden Markram (Titans), Wiaan Mulder (Lions), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Keegan Petersen (Dolphins), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions), Kyle Verreynne (Western Province), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Glenton Stuurman (Warriors), Prenelan Subrayen (Dolphins), Sisanda Magala (Lions), Ryan Rickelton (Lions), Duanne Olivier (Lions)