Visitors Look To Fightback In Centurion
Live cricket score, India vs South Africa, 2nd Test: India aim to bounce back. © AFP
India will aim to bounce back after their defeat in the opening Test against South Africa when the second match of the starts at the SuperSport Park with the focus on its batsmen. The hosts bundled out India for 209 and 135 in the two innings, registering a 72-run victory at Newlands, Cape Town. 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. India would have suffered more embarrassment if all-rounder Hardik Pandya had not come up with an audacious 93 in the first innings. But such counter-attacking and full-of-risk knock does not not pay off always and captain Virat Kohli and chief coach Ravi Shastri know that. Bounce, seam and swing were all there to see at Newlands and SuperSport Park is expected to be no less lively. The hosts have not lost at this venue since 2014. South Africa head coach Otis Gibson has already expressed his desire to stick with a four-pronged pace attack. The hosts went into the Newlands Test with their strongest quartet of seamers — Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada. Veteran Steyn injured his left heel midway through the match and has been sidelined for four to six weeks.
Live updates between India vs South Africa, 2nd Test, Day 1, straight from Centurion
If Kohli wins the toss, opting to bowl will be obvious option. Doing so will not only shield the batsmen from the early onslaught of the hosts’ pacemen but also allow the visiting bowlers to run into the opposition with full steam. Seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya, alongwith lone spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bundled out the hosts for 130 in the second innings at Newlands. South Africa will depend upon Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis to score the bulk of runs.