The highlight of the summer will be the visit of India for three Test matches, five ODIs and a special T20 match at one of the country¹s premier soccer stadiums.
India are the No 1 Test ranking nation, and South Africa, who drew their last two-match series in India in February, will be looking to overtake them as well as maintain their unbeaten home record against MS Dhoni¹s men.
From India¹s point of view, if they are to truly deserve their No 1 ranking, they will need to break their duck on the hard, bouncy South African pitches that they often struggle to adapt to. The teams will be playing for the Krish Mackerdhuj Trophy.
The Tests, which will take place in Centurion (Dec 16-20), Durban (Dec 26-30) and Cape Town (Jan 2-6), will always be the most important contest, but, with the World Cup taking place on the Indian subcontinent in February next year, there will be a special focus on the ODI series with matches taking place in Durban (Jan 12), Johannesburg (Jan 15), Cape Town (Jan 18), Port Elizabeth (Jan 21) and Centurion (Jan 23).
The most novel fixture, however, will take place at Durban¹s Moses Mabhida Stadium which has recently hosted matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Although the size of the ground doesn¹t accord with international cricket regulations, special permission has been obtained from the International Cricket Council to stage a T20 match there on January 9 because the match commemorates the 150th arrival of Indian settlers in South Africa. It is hoped that the match at the 70 000-capacity stadium will attract the largest crowd ever to attend a cricket match in this country.