Pacer-Friendly Pitch to be on Offer in Centurion Test

India vs South Africa 2018 Test Series

Bhuvneshwar Kumar misses a catch during the first Test match between South Africa and India

As they did when writing those eleven names on the team sheet.

The ball doesn't take much time getting to the ropes here, unlike the Newlands in Cape Town, one of the biggest cricket grounds in the world.

Asked if he had said anything to Kohli after the dismissal, Philander said: "Nah, I never said anything to him". "I don't think we felt any lack of preparation".

We did have a chance but this is the beauty of sport. On a positive side, the Indian team has always shown that extra aggression under Virat Kohli's captaincy and if that aggression is displayed again here, I must say India can send jitter waves to the South African dressing room. Winning the next two matches and sealing the series would be a huge claim to make. But this would be real test of their character. "There is no need to panic". While these scores were raised on better batting pitches at home, it gave the bowlers the freedom to experiment. This was one of my favourite Test matches. It could've gone either way.

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

Centurion may fall short in terms of yards, but it makes up by the way of pace, courtesy a hard, bouncy wicket.

On an opening day disrupted by rain, they were bowled out for just 136. At home, the margin of error was large but in South Africa, where all the talk was centred around the bounce on the wickets, the margin of error was minimal. South Africa won the match by an innings and 25 runs despite Sachin Tendulkar's 50th Test century.

Don't forget the year 2017 belonged to both Kohli and Rohit, who had shone across the formats.

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Rohit was batting well.

Somewhere down the line it seemed as if the right mix of caution and aggression was missing in Cape Town. I've said before the success of our Test side will be very much dependent on our fast bowling group.

In the second innings also he was looking good. Morris' inclusion in the XI will add more depth in the batting department. While these two made for interesting observation of the surface, India would do well not to overthink the pitch and complicate things for themselves.

On Ngidi's possible role he might play‚ Du Plessis said the quick was picked with the view to the series against India and the future‚ where the Proteas have four tests against Australia in March. On day one, the pitch plays a little slowish. It's about the team.

Openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan failed to cross the 20-run mark in both innings, and the top five batsmen managed a combined 130 runs in the two innings.

Du Plessis reiterated a refrain from the tour of England a year ago, that Morris is suitable as part of a four-man pace attack, but is too inconsistent to slot into a three-man unit. In sport such things happen. In England in 2007, rain and bad light saved them at Lord's before they went to Trent Bridge, and Zaheer Khan - incensed by jellybeans being thrown his way when he batted - destroyed England with the ball. They need to leave Cape Town behind them and move on.

During the practice session of Team India, the batsmen opened their hands in the net. And you have to battle it out.

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