Ishant Sharma
Ishant will be one of the key bowlers for India in the Test series.IANS

India pacer Venkatesh Prasad was in great form 21 years ago. The Karnataka man took five wickets in both the innings of the 1st Test against South Africa at Durban in December 1996.

He, however, fell short of Allan Donald's record of taking the maximum number of wickets (12) in a Test match in South Africa. The former Proteas bowler still holds the record for most wickets in South Africa vs India Tests.

After that tour of 1996, India have travelled to the country four times, but Donald's record still stands tall.

The current bowling unit, which comprises Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, has been touted as one of the best of fast bowlers India have produced in recent years.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are the two spinners in the tour for India.

With South Africa known to produce wickets assisting the seamers, the likes of Shami and Ishant will be keen to deliver. The duo can extract good bounce and pace to trouble the home team. India pacers have shown some good form recently even when they bowled in slow home pitches.

Besides Prasad's 10-wicket haul, Sreesanth, Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble have all taken eight wickets in one Test match. But the present crop of India bowlers will look beyond breaking Indian records and try to go past Donald's record.

Achieving 12 wickets or more in a Test match is not going to be easy especially with South Africa batsmen playing at home. The home team have some big names like Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, who are known for scoring big runs.

The three-match Test series will start at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday, and it is expected to be a blockbuster of a contest between two top sides in the longer format of the game.