Senior India pace bowler Zaheer Khan and prolific batsman Cheteshwar Pujara left Mumbai by an early morning flight to South Africa along with three other players well ahead of the two-Test series against the hosts.
Zaheer, Pujara, opener Murali Vijay, reserve wicketkeeper Wridhiman Saha and leg-spinner Amit Mishra could not go with the ODI squad as planned due to logistical problems like visa, according to Cricket Board secretary Sanjay Patel.
These were sorted out to enable the five players to depart for South Africa two days later.
The quintet has been sent to South Africa well ahead of the start of the Test series on December 18 at Johannesburg to help them acclimatise to the trying conditions.
The Test team members get a chance to prepare for the much-awaited series through a two-day warm-up tour game at Benoni against a South Africa Invitation XI.
India are to start the tour with the first ODI at Johannesburg with the third and final match to be held on December 11 at Centurion after which the ODI specialists would return home.
Image: Cheteshwar Pujara
Photograph: Pal Pillai/Getty Images