It's not known how Englishmen learned or discovered cricket, but they are the people behind virtually every other cricket playing nation today. Be it India, who were ruled by British - East India company for over 200 years, or be it West Indies where English rulers used to import cheep workers from India and the sub continent.
Or be it South Africa where seventeenth century Englishmen migrated in the hunt for diamonds, golds and Platinum. They played cricket for fun and as it was globalising, joined England and Australia in the late eighteenth century.
To be precise, Australia and England test match (the first ever International test match) was played from 15th March 1977 and South Africa played their first test match from 12 March 1889 = after 12 years approximately.
The problem arose when West Indies joined in as the fourth International cricket team. The "apartheid" factor dominated South Africa and thus they refused to play against West Indies consisting none white players.
Result - South Africa banned from International cricket for undetermined period.
South Africa's comeback to International cricket :
Not many people know what actually South African cricket board did to keep the game alive in their country for 22 years - after which South African team came to India for their first ever tour after the International ban.
South Africa played 3 ODI's on that tour to India and won the third one day international at New Delhi as consolation. They lost the second ODI at Gwalior by 38 runs while ended up losing the first ODI at Calcutta by 3 wickets.
This Indian report card didn't prove too much but showed South Africa were no pushovers. And it also showed what South Africa were denied through that ban. South African captain Clive Rice said about his arrival at Calcutta - "I know how Neil Armstrong felt when he stood on the moon".
Here's more on India vs South Africa ODI history.
India's 1992 tour of south Africa :
Indian team became the first ever International team since 1970 to play a test match in South Africa. The 4 test match series was less than attractive as far as the matches were concerned as first and second test match at Durban and Johannesburg yielded draws.
Both teams looked to be aggressive in the third test at Port Elizabeth, but Indian team were bowled out for just 212 in the first innings. They then did well in bowling out South Africa for just 275 but failed again in second innings by scoring only 215.
South Africa needed only 153 on the last day and achieved the target. And won the match and the series as the fourth and Final test match again ended up as a draw.
Thus, in all test matches till 1992 - South Africa 1 India 0.
South Africa's 1996 tour of India :
First test match was played at Ahmedabad with India scoring only 223 while batting first and South Africa replying with 244.
Then Indian team were bowled out for merely 190, giving a target of just 170 to the South Africans.... which they surely would have thought was gettable but were surprised by Javagal Srinath (who now is a ICC Match referee). He took 6 for 21 off just 11.5 overs to bowl out South Africa for just 105. In 38.5 overs.
Second test match at Calcutta was dominated but South Africa and inspite of Ventakest Prasad's 6 wickets on the second day, South Africa won the 2nd test by 329 runs.
The third test match at Kanpur was won by India - the first ever test match as captain for Sachin Tendulkar.
Thus, in all test matches till 1996 - South Africa 2 India 2.
India's 1997 tour of South Africa :
This was a tour which Indian team would like to forget, but never will. South African pitches proved too fast for Indian batsmen and they struggled all throughout till the last test match. In fact, I saw Sourav Ganguly being bowled off a full toss from Lance Klusner. After losing Durban and Cape Town test matches, Indian team got bolder and elected to bat first in the third test match at Johannesburg.
They made 410 with some help from rising star - Rahul Dravid's 148 and bowled out South Africa for 321. Indian team declared their second innings at 266 for 8 - giving a target of 356 for South Africa. And then it was Darrell Cullinan,David Richardson and "bad light" who prevented Indian team, a victory.
Thus, in all test matches till 1997 - South Africa 4 India 2.
South Africa's 2000 tour of India :
South Africa by now, had proved their class at International stage and won the first test match at Mumbai with style. The second test match at Bangalore was even easier for them as they won it by an innings and 71 runs. And hence, won the 2 test match series 2-0.
Thus, in all test matches till 2000 - South Africa 6 India 2.
India's 2001 tour of South Africa :
First test match at Bloemfontein unleashed yet another star for India - Virendra Sehwag, who made a century on his debut and propelled India to 379 while batting first. But South Africa replied with 563 and then bowled us out for 237. And then 54 runs target was never tough for them.
Second test match at Port Elizabeth was a draw. Hence test series went to South Africa 1-0.
Thus, in all test matches till 2001 - South Africa 7 India 2.
South Africa's 2004 tour of India :
South Africa threatend to pull out of the series because of Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje being questioned by Indian police but ultimately came to draw the first test match at Kanpur and lose second and final test match at Kolkatta.
Second test match belonged to Indian spin duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh with 13 wickets between then and South Africans' with no spin answers..!!
Thus, till today - in all India vs south Africa test matches - the record stands at South Africa 6 India 3 with 16 played.
And sadly, Indian team has never won a single test match (out of 9 attempts) on south African soil. Will they do it this time... here's the schedule.