India is inarguably cricket’s biggest hub, and every year it produces more talents than it can accommodate. Hence, many players move abroad in search of more playing opportunities. There is another group of cricketers who were born to Indian parents, albeit abroad, and have played against India. In this article, we will look at three such Indian origin cricketers who represented South Africa versus India.
#3 Senuran Muthusamy
Muthusamy’s family emigrated to South Africa decades ago, and he was born in 1994, after the abolition of Apartheid. Muthusamy is an all-rounder who bats left-handed and bowls left-arm orthodox. After impressive performances in domestic cricket, he was called up to represent South Africa versus India in October 2019.
In the first Test at Vizag, Muthusamy was used as South Africa’s fifth bowler in the first innings. India’s opening pair combined for a massive 317 run partnership, and all Protea spinners were met with disdain. Muthusamy bowled 15 overs, conceded 63 runs and picked up the all-important wicket of Virat Kohli. He scored a vital 33 with the bat in the second innings as South Africa posted 431 runs on the board.
Muthusamy bowled just 3 overs in the third innings and went for 20 runs. South Africa were left to chase a monumental target of 395 runs to win the game. The Proteas were bundled out for 191 but Muthusamy impressed again with the bat. Dane Peidt and Muthusamy combined for a 91 run partnership for the ninth wicket which saved South Africa’s blushes.
The second Test at Pune followed the same script, as India once again posted a mammoth total in the first innings. This remains Muthusamy’s last Test, as he failed to impress with both bat and ball.
#2 Keshav Maharaj
Maharaj is all set to start as the lone spinner for South Africa versus India in the upcoming Boxing Day Test. Maharaj’s family has been living in South Africa for more than a century. His ancestors settled in South Africa in the 19th century in search of a better lifestyle. Maharaj grew up in Natal, Durban and made his Test debut in 2016 against Australia. Since then, he has remained South Africa’s first choice spinner in Test cricket.
During India’s previous visit to South Africa in 2018, Maharaj featured in the first two Tests. At Cape Town, he just bowled 10 overs and did not pick any wickets. In the second Test at Centurion, he bowled 20 overs in the second innings and dismissed a well-settled Murali Vijay. South Africa won the series comfortably, but Maharaj did not feature in the last Test at Johannesburg.
The 2019 tour of India was an absolute nightmare for Maharaj. He averaged 171.33 per dismissal and was dropped for the final two Tests. In Pune, he top-scored in the second innings with 72 runs.
#1 Hashim Amla
“My grandparents came from India, but I am South African” was Amla’s reply when asked about his feelings while playing against India. A cricketing monk in many ways, Amla and his wristy flick is still remembered fondly by cricket fans. Amla owns several batting records, including the fastest to score 2000 runs in ODI cricket. Amla’s favourite opposition is India, against whom he has scored more than 2500 runs in all formats.
He cracked one of the toughest challenges in Test cricket by scoring 941 runs in India at an average of 62.73. However, he did not enjoy much success against India in ODIs, as evident by his average of 37.52.