South Africa 78 for no loss at lunch on Day 1

Kohli-Rohit

Rohit, Dhawan and the limits of 'current form'

Three changes in the Indian team.

"We realized what mistakes we made in the first innings, so (on day four) we were trying to create pressure from both ends and focus on our lengths which were wrong in the first innings". Consistent Cheteshwar Pujara has played in such conditions before but it was the opposition's spearheads that got the better of the Test swashbuckler. I don't remember many such wins when the pitch has been flat. He has got a good technique.

Bloy was seen having a longish chat with the South African players in the middle, asked if it was anything specific, he said: "Naah, just showing them around the wicket as they wanted to have a look at it".

The fast bowling attack is unlikely to undergo any changes. Shami, well, he attacked the stumps with more control.

Hence, the pitch for the second Test match starting on Saturday is expected to be a little less hostile for the batsmen.

When India toured South Africa in 2006-2007, they went to Potchefstroom for a warm-up game against "the rest of South Africa".

What about batting? What advice would you give to Rohit Sharma at this point?

South Africa were 78 for no loss at lunch on the opening day of the second cricket Test against India here.

A lot was said about Virat Kohli-led team's chances of becoming the first Indian team to clinch a series in South Africa after the phenomenal run they enjoyed at home over the last two seasons. Two weeks later, to that same ball which was aimed into his body, his bat position would instinctively be six to eight inches higher than it was. Dhawan has been struggling to cope up with the rising deliveries.

South Africa's hero at Newlands seemed more willing to carry a heavier burden in that 72-run victory after being publicly criticised in England past year. For a batsman to adjust is big challenge. He's got good manners, he went to a good school. That they then upset South Africa at the Wanderers had much to do with their workout in North West province. "I am sure they will come back strongly in the 2nd Test", he added.

Hosts will be looking to seal the deal in Centurion, a place where they have always performed well.

He said: "I think at times they played very good cricket in that first Test".

"Vijay used to leave the ball outside the off stump and I am surprised that he was chasing that ball". He has the best overseas average among the current lot of Indian batsmen. Kohli is bang on when he says such a game would have been a complete waste of time. "It will be interesting to see what is the composition that Kohli would settle for in the second Test". That is, if he plays.

It is all but given than KL Rahul will make the playing XI in the 2 Test. Although Dhawan is only 32 and there might be good 3-4 years of global cricket still left in him but considering his vulnerability in these conditions, India might be tempted to go with young Rahul. It seems, Virat Kohli's boys, who had played their last 31 Tests in the slowest pitch of Asia, are not prepared for the pace and bounce that South African pitch offers to the bowlers.

That tells you how hard South Africa are to beat in Centurion. The bowling, for a change, does not need much addressing.

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