Team India faced a lot of criticism for their batting failure in the first Test at Cape Town, which they lost by 72 runs. Though the Indian bowling lineup stepped up to the mark and gave India a great chance to go 1-0 up, batting collapsed under the weight of some brilliant bowling by Vernon Philander.
The caravan now moves to SuperSport Park in Centurion, which is located at 4,500 ft above sea level. This will definitely have a big effect on the fitness of the Indian bowlers who will have to face effects of high altitude. Lack of oxygen may cause breathing troubles and the same thing will sap the energy out of them.
Apart from that, Team India tried the element of surprise in the first Test by playing Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. Though Bumrah passed with flying colors, Rohit could only score 11 and 10 in two innings. Virat Kohli’s gamble of bringing in Rohit in place of Rahane, based on current form, didn’t work and he had to face criticism for dropping a player who has an excellent record out of India in favor of someone who scores runs on flat pitches against a weak opposition.
India will look to make amends for their mistakes in the team combination and there will also be lots of thought given to the opening combination and bowling attack.
South Africa on the other hand, is well prepared to go 2-0 up in the series and the onus and pressure are on the Indian team to bounce back and equalize in the series. It will be a tough task for Indian captain Virat Kohli and he knows that not only the team’s fortunes rest on him, but even his reputation as India’s best Test batsman is on the line.
Toss: South Africa win the toss and decide to bat in Centurion
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungisani Ngidi, Morne Morkel
India: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma