Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

South Africa v India 2nd Test - Changes expected for India?

South Africa v India 2nd Test - Changes expected for India? South Africa v India 2nd Test - Changes expected for India?
Shannon Reynolds | 13 January, 2018, 13:23

The 100 he scored was Tendulkar's 50th in Tests, and the reactions after the match spoke volumes about India's myopic obsession with individual landmarks.

No Indian top-order batsman made more than 28 in either innings in Cape Town. India will be looking to rectify that in this match. As a result, South Africa have added Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi as cover. However, there are the claims of someone like Chris Morris to consider too, who also brings in all-round skills. Dale, Morne (Morkel), Vernon (Philander) and KG (Kagiso Rabada) are a step above in that regard. Borde also said he would like to see K L Rahul in the playing eleven instead of Shikhar Dhawan when asked whether such a switch needs to be done. They have a selection conundrum. The Indian vice-captain had a poor series against Sri Lanka at home and Rohit Sharma was preferred in Newlands. But, the prospect of India's win was short-lived, as the scenario took a sharp turn in the next session. Also, with Jadeja fit, India will have to take a call whether to include him or keep Ravichandran Ashwin in the XI.

After inspecting the pitch on Friday afternoon‚ a relaxed Kohli said it was what India had hoped for because both teams will be in this contest where South Africa could wrap up the series with a match to spare. Although Dhawan is only 32 and there might be good 3-4 years of worldwide cricket still left in him but considering his vulnerability in these conditions, India might be tempted to go with young Rahul. Opening batsman KL Rahul was in for Shikhar Dhawan, wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel in for Wriddhiman Saha, and seam bowler Ishant Sharma for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The surface will not have any green, according to the groundsman Bryan Bloy. Though the visiting bowlers thrived on the lively pitch, the technique and approach of the batsmen was questioned as they failed to chase down a target of 208. The pitch will start a little slow and quicken up on Days 2 and 3. However, with the weather being quite warm, it could deteriorate on the final two days, which means that the spinners could play a part on those days. That aside, South Africa could stay with the combination that fell in place so beautifully at Newlands.

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South Africa head coach Otis Gibson has already expressed his desire to stick with a four-pronged pace attack.

Even less happily for the team who will play the second test here on Saturday‚ they lost that match by an innings despite racking up a second innings of 459. South Africa have won eight from 11 with two draws when batting first. The defeat to England in 2000 was the infamous one in which Hansie Cronje convinced Nasser Hussain for both sides to forfeit an innings in a rain-hit match and thus manufacture a result. He will be the seventh India pacer to achieve this feat.

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

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