India vs South Africa 2nd Test Match – India and South Africa will resume their test battle in Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium. After dominating the 1st test with both the bat and the ball, India will now look to extend their dominance against South Africa, who had no answers to India’s dominance. These two will meet in Pune from Thursday 10th October 2019 to Monday 14th October 2019. This game will be India’s 4th game of the World Test Championship and South Africa’s 2nd game in the event.
India vs South Africa 2nd Test Match Preview – India Team Preview
Team India who didn’t put a single foot wrong in the first test match will now be looking to extend their good run in Pune, where they were lost heavily by Australia in 2017. India will have to bat well as they did in the first test at Vishakhapatnam a few days ago for the first test match. They will have to assess the pitch that turned in 2017 when they played Australia. Kohli and his men shouldn’t forget what Steve O Keefe did to them.
Even though South Africa doesn’t have that quality of spinners in their lineup, Team India should not take them lightly. In that test match that India played against Australia in 2017, Steve O Keefe picked up 12 wickets while Steve Smith, who captained the Aussie team back then was also sensational with his batting performance in that test match. India was fully blown by Keefe’s off-spin and eventually lost that test match by a huge margin.
India will not want to play as they did in 2017. The men in blue will want to keep the memories of that test match aside and for that, the hosts will need to come good with the bat once again.
The responsibility will be on Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal once again. They had laid a good foundation in the first innings which allowed India to score 502 runs in the 1st innings at Vizag. Mayank and Rohit will want to go in the repeat mode once again in Pune. Rohit also batted extremely well in the second innings of that test match. His 127 runs allowed India to set a target of 395 which was a tall task for the visitors. But both the time Hit Man missed a chance of scoring a double Ton for India.
In the test match at Pune, if Rohit goes past the score of 150 then he should aim to score a double hundred for India. Mayank Agarwal who failed to score in the second innings of the first test match will want to get back into his groove. He played well in the first innings and scored 215 runs in that test match. But now, he will have to concentrate on playing well in both the innings of the test match.
Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper who didn’t do much in the 1st test will want to pounce on every opportunity to score. It was Kohli who gave Muthusamy his maiden test wicket. In Pune, Kohli will have to come good as the number 4 batsman for India. India has a rock-solid batsman at the number 3 position. Chesteshwar Pujara has been at the number 3 spot for a long time now. He has done well in that position and his centuries in Australia allowed India to win the series. In the 1st test match also, he batted well, especially in the 2nd innings.
Pujari was slow at the start, but later found his Midas touch and quickly made up for the lost balls he faced. India wanted Pujara to fire in both the innings of that test match but, he failed in the 1st innings. Now in Pune, he will have to deliver in both the innings of the 2nd test match against South Africa. Vihari and Rahane had nothing much to do as the Indian openers did the bulk of the scoring jobs. But, they should be alert and quickly seize on the opportunity which comes by. Saha too needs to contribute, he will have to make most of the opportunities that he gets. Saha’s comeback was the ideal one in the team’s perspective but he will have to be ready for his upcoming chances.
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The bowlers did well in both the innings. Shami was excellent in the 2nd innings but in the 1st innings, he should have contributed more. Ishant was a good support to his fellow bowlers. But, as a senior bowler, Ishant needs to take up the responsibilities and provide those crucial breakthroughs. India was struck between Elgar and De Kock in the 1st innings of the last test match. They allowed their partnership to grow which almost threatened the home team. In Pune, India will have to take those missed opportunities which come by their way.
The spin all-rounders for India were good. But they were a bit expensive in the 1st innings. Ashwin picked up 7 wickets in the 1st innings while in the 2nd innings, he took just 1 wicket which made him the fastest bowler to claim 350 test wickets. Ravindra Jadeja picked up 4 wickets in the 2nd innings and 2 in the 1st. With that, he contributed some handy runs with the bat. India will want the same contribution from these two. As the Pune pitch will turn in the last two days, the bowling of Ashwin and Jadeja will be vital.
India vs South Africa 2nd Test Match Preview – Probable XI of Team India
Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Chesteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Hanuma Vihari, Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd Shami, and Ishant Sharma.
India vs South Africa 2nd Test Match Preview – South Africa Team Preview
South Africa will look to put up points on the board of the World Test Championship. The loss to India at Vizag is an alarming one for them, especially their performance in the 2nd innings where the top order didn’t show any sort of fight. South Africa needs its batsmen to play as they did in the 1st innings. Dean Elgar, Quinton De Kock, and skipper Faf Du Plessis showed some fight which allowed them to be in the game. But, Shami picked up these batsmen for a low score. Du Plessis and de Kock were out for ducks in the 2nd innings of their 1st test match against India.
This sort of performance will not help South Africa in any way. They need to use the experience of Du Plessis, de Kock, Elgar, and Markram in the remaining two matches. These 4 players are the players to watch out for in the 2nd test match at Pune.
Aiden Markram was no good with the bat. He played a counter-attacking knock in the 2nd innings but Jadeja was too good for him. Markram needs to play long innings as an opener just like his partner Dean Elgar. South Africa will want their openers to put up a good show. Then they play Quinton De Kock or Faf Du Plessis at the number 3 spot, which means that Temba Bavuma will have to sit out of the 2nd test match. A lower-order batsman like Heinrich Klaasen might be a good replacement to Bavuma.
Klaasen has been with South Africa A side so he might have got used to the Indian conditions and the Indian pitches. South Africa going with Klaasen will be an attacking move and they will also have a depth in their batting lineup. Another change that the visitors should make is to bring back Lungi Ngidi. He is a quality player who can make good use of the new ball as well as the old ball. He is the guy to provide the X factor for the Proteas that they need right now. Ngidi can also bat down the order, he can be replaced with one of the three spinners.
The spinners showed their inexperience in the 1st test. Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt and Muthusamy went plenty in at the Vizag. But now, South Africa will have to drop 1 of them to strengthen their bowling. Keshav Maharaj who was expensive and couldn’t contribute with the bat may have to sit out. Dane Piedt and Muthusamy played well in the 2nd innings. Dane Piedt scored a half-century to his name. This one was his maiden test fifty and Muthusamy was not out on 49 runs. He too played well and their partnership of 91 runs certainly showed that they can bat well. With their batting skills which came good, one might see Keshav Maharaj sitting out of the South African playing XI.
Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada need to use their experience with the ball. They were pretty ordinary in the 1st test match. But now, South Africa is in danger of losing the series. Rabada and Philander will have to step up and deliver for South Africa.
India vs South Africa 2nd Test Match Preview – Probable XI of South Africa
Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Faf Du Plessis, Zubayr Hamza, Quinton De Kock, Henrich Klaasen, Theunis de Bruyn, Vernon Philander, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Piedt, Senurun Muthusamy and Kagiso Rabada.
Will India win the Gandhi Mandela Test series? Or can South Africa win this match and draw the series?
The answer will come to us on 10th October 2019 at 9.30 AM IST. Live telecast will be done on the Star Sports networks and live streaming will be available on Hotstar mobile application.