What's In Store For The 2nd India-South Africa Test Match?

What's In Store For The 2nd India-South Africa Test Match?

So India aren't going to go into the match looking at the brownish surface and get fooled into imagining it to be something closer to home conditions. Expect the hosts to choose between Chris Morris and Lungi Ngidi to make up for that loss as the pace ace is out with a tissue damage to his left heel.

The past few years have seen South African pacers Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn picking up 10-wicket match hauls at Centurion. Cheteshwar Pujara, with 26 in the first innings, and Kohli, with 28 in the second, were the top scorers, and you don't win Tests with such meagre returns. They have a selection conundrum. If Virat's side want to be in the series, they need to balance their batting order so that KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma can be in the playing eleven.

By giving Rohit a nod ahead of Rahane, the team management has increased trouble for itself. Also, with Jadeja fit, India will have to take a call whether to include him or keep Ravichandran Ashwin in the XI. Although Dhawan is only 32 and there might be good 3-4 years of global cricket still left in him but considering his vulnerability in these conditions, India might be tempted to go with young Rahul.

Contrary to expectations, Indian pacemen, especially Bhuvneshwar Kumar and debutant Jasprit Bumrah, made good use of the conditions as the visitors managed to bowl out Faf du Plessis' side in both the innings. If India do need to replace any of them, they have Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma waiting on the sidelines. Gary Kirsten wanted to leave nothing to chance as India sought to correct the perception that they could only perform in their own backyard. The pitch will be a bit slow on the first day, but it will quicken up on day two and three. That aside, South Africa could stay with the combination that fell in place so beautifully at Newlands.

- Spinners average 47.88 from 22 Tests in Centurion and the numbers go higher for the visiting spinners - 52.85 - both the poorest among the five major Test venues in South Africa.

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To make matters worse, the Newlands pitch was an exception even by South African standards - along with pace and bounce, it had significant sideways movement too, a fact Faf du Plessis acknowledged in the post-match interview.

Overall, the Proteas have won 14 and lost 10 out of their 34 Tests against India. In the series that followed, he scored two centuries and dominated Warne as India won 2-1. Kohli and team would most likely have pitted their wits against a ragtag bunch of provincial cricketers, on a pitch that bore absolutely no resemblance to the Newlands one on which they tallied just 209 and 135.

- Mohammed Shami needs one more wicket to become the seventh Indian pacer to reach the milestone of 100 wickets.

The wicket at Centurion is being described as the one which will favour the fast bowlers.

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