Preview: South Africa likely to come hard on India as improved side for Centurion Test




South Africa will lock horns with the visiting side India in the second Test at Centurion, starting on January 13. The hosts are currently leading the series 1-0 after a historic 72 runs win against India, who failed to chase down a 208 runs target as they were bundled out for 135 runs by the Proteas bowlers. So, it was a low scoring match where bowlers made the ball talk. In a battle of the small target, the hosts Proteas managed to get an edge over the Indians. Before the second Test starting on January 13 The Sports Mirror carried out a preview.

India tour of South Africa 2018: Schedule, Preview & Live Streaming

India tour of South Africa 2018: Schedule, Preview & Live Streaming

South Africa

The hosts have a strong batting line-up. It is just a matter of time that they explode the Indian bowlers. The likes of Dean Elgar, AB de Villers, Hashim Amla, captain Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock have the ability to give India a nightmare. If they get going India will find it hard to stop them. They are proven stars in world cricket. In the Cape Town Test when other batsmen were finding it difficult to cope with pace bowling de Villers, du Plessis and de Kock made some good contributions.

When the batsmen failed to make any good impact in the previous Test bowlers pulled Proteas out of the hole to snatch a victory from the Indians in the very first Test. The wrecker in chief was Vernon Philander who picked up six wickets in the second innings. Alongside Philander, the likes of Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada have the ability to pierce through the Indian batting line up. So, South Africa has nothing to worry other than fixing the issue at their batting department. South Africa have to make only one change in the playing XI as Dale Steyn has been ruled out from remaining series due to injury.

India

The visitors India arguably wasted their best ever chance to take a lead in the series. While chasing a decent 208 runs target the Indians failed for 135. India, who are No. 1 ranked side in ICC Test rankings, came to play their first meaning overseas series after enjoying an overwhelming success in India. But, in their very first real test, they crumbled like a pack of cards. Captain Virat Kohli and his boys failed to address the risk posed by the South African pacemen. Indiana batsmen who played well at home failed in South Africa. The stars like Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma failed to cope with the danger posed by Proteas fast bowlers.

However, Indian bowlers have done a good job. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohamad Shami and Hardik Pandya were superb. It was an amazing moment as Indian bowlers took 20 wickets in a match at ease. Before the Centurion Test Team India must fix their issue at the batting department and bowlers have to make sure that they are consistent enough to trouble the Proteas. For the second Test India need to bring KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahne back in the places of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.

Probable XI:

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villers, Faf du Plessis (c), Quonton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Chris Morris, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel

India:  KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah

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