It is never easy to come back into the series after losing the first Test but the Indian team has the skills to do so. The visitors might be ruing their selection decisions in the first Test or letting hosts score 286 after reducing them to 12 for 3 or their batting collapses in both the innings but there is no point in wasting the time looking at hindsight.
The tourists had their chances in the first Test but they failed to capitalize on them and thus it cost them the match. The key is to learn from the mistakes and move on like the bowling effort in the second innings which brought them back in the match. But there are some woes to address for the visitors and one of them would be the selection.
Indian team would like to stay afloat.
The tourists went with the combination of five batsmen and four bowlers along with Hardik Pandya as the all-rounder. They took the gamble to drop their deputy Ajinkya Rahane and opted to go with in-form Rohit Sharma. Now it would be interesting to note what kind of impact will the defeat in the first match have on the final XI of the visitors.
Will they go with the same playing XI or will they bring in KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane in place of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma respectively? One thought that it was harsh on Rahane to see the exit gates as his poor form against Sri Lanka turned out to be his foe.
For the Proteas, Dale Steyn has been ruled out and they would like to bring in Chris Morris who would add an extra spark with both bat and ball. The top three were not able to purvey a lot of runs and they would like to contribute. AB de Villiers was superb with the bat in both the innings and the host’s bowlers were right on the money.
Match Prediction: The pitch is not expected to offer the same kind of assistance as it did in Newlands but it is going to still provide decent carry and bounce. The hosts will once again start as favorites but the Indian team would like to make most of the opportunities that come their way.
Toss Prediction: India.
Match-Winner Prediction: India.
India’s Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Chesteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
South Africa’s Probable XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf Du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Chris Morris, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj.
Date and Time: 13th January 2018, 1:30 pm IST.
Venue: SuperSport Park, Centurion
Live Telecast: Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3.