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12-Jan-2018 10:42:00 GMT
SA v Ind, 2nd test, Centurion

India seek to answer South Africa pace attack

Centurion: Indian captain Virat Kohli wants his batsmen to "show intent" when they come up against South Africa's fast bowlers again in the second Test starting at Centurion on Saturday.

No Indian top-order batsman made more than 28 in either innings in Cape Town. The only two scores above 30 were 93 by Hardik Pandya in the first innings and 37 by Ravichandran Ashwin in the second.

Pandya and Ashwin were batting at number seven and eight respectively, which suggests India have enough depth in their batting order -- if their top-order players can get themselves through the new ball.

At least two batting positions will be debated as the tourists seek a way to play themselves back into the three-Test series.

Left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan fell to short-pitched deliveries in both innings and there is an argument for Lokesh Rahul to take his place, while Ajinkya Rahane must be a contender to replace Rohit Sharma at number five.

Kohli said the selection for Cape Town was based on form. Rahane had a dismal recent series against Sri Lanka but has shown the ability to score runs away from home.

South Africa, meanwhile, look set to once again pick a four-pronged pace attack, although they have to replace the injured Dale Steyn.

There are three candidates -- two out-and-out pace specialists in Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi or Chris Morris who has batting skills as well as the ability to bowl at more than 140 kmh.

Both teams showed batting fragility in Cape Town, with India's pace bowlers showing they too could take advantage of helpful conditions.

AB de Villiers' aggression in innings of 65 and 35 was a key factor for South Africa. It is that sort of intent that both teams will be seeking in what promises to be another action-paced Test.

Teams from

South Africa:
Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (Capt.), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Duanne Olivier and Lungisani Ngidi

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Capt.), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Lokesh Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel (wk)

Pitch and condition
With conditions at Centurion again likely to favour fast bowling.

Stats and trivia

  • 8.5 South Africa’s win-loss ratio at SuperSport Park, Centurion (17 wins, 2 defeats), the 2nd-best for any side at a particular ground with a 10-match cut-off.
  • Only Test played by India at SuperSport Park, Centurion, back in 2010-11. They were hammered by an innings and 25 runs on that occasion.
  • 99 runs needed by Faf du Plessis to reach 3,000 Test runs.
  • One wicket needed by Morkel to reach the 50-wicket mark for South Africa against India. Steyn (65), Donald (57), and Pollock (52) are the only ones to have done this.
  • One wicket needed by both Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav to reach 100 Test wickets.
  • 2 catches needed by Hashim Amla to reach the 100-catch mark in Test cricket. Amla will become the 4th South African non-wicketkeeper to reach there.

Match facts
January 13-17, 2018
Start time 10.00 local (0800 GMT)

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