India vs South Africa: Host to bat first in second Test

Proteas search for perfect balance

India vs South Africa: Host to bat first in second Test

At least two batting positions will be debated as the tourists seek a way to play themselves back into the three-Test series. Ajinkya Rahane too has been left out as Virat Kohli made a decision to persist with Rohit Sharma despite his miserable performance in the first test. It depends upon how well you do it, how well we recover overnight for the bowlers to be able to (do it).

Yes. The match was wide open. It was Ishant and Pandya, who showed more Test-match discipline than India's two strike forces, who kept South Africa's run rate from getting out of hand. The management thinks there could still be a twist to the wicket with some late watering.

We did have a chance but this is the beauty of sport. My first-class teammates would advice that I have to develop a lot of patience and hearing those things from them was definitely a reality check for me.

Do you really believe this team can make a comeback in the series? "As long as we are winning it is fine", Du Plessis said on the eve of the second Test. This might test not only their skills but also their mental strength. It could've gone either way. We would've wanted to bat first as well. I'm not saying that Ajinkya can not or will not start in this game.

Yes, they bowled well. That said, they have held back the call on Rahane and Ashwin for the morning.

That test, though, gave Ashwin the push he needed to work on his game, and especially to develop the variation that leading spin bowlers must have in modern cricket since Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne set the standard. To bowl South Africa out for 130 was commendable.

The injury to Dale Steyn will be the only change that Proteas might be looking at and if they opt for an allrounder, either Andile Phelukwayo or Chris Morris might get a go.

Bumrah bowled AB De Villiers for his first Test wicket
Bumrah bowled AB De Villiers for his first Test wicket

Rohit was batting well. I saw enough of Hardik in Cape Town. Saha unwell A surprise inclusion in the XI will be Parthiv.

The skipper feels that despite the mistakes committed, his batting unit is in much better shape for this game. If it's a low-scoring game, we'd want to get 20 or 30 or even 50 more.

Though the less flamboyant ones, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara also failed, they are trusted to in these conditions, especially the dogged Saurashtra right-hander.

Ashwin was dropped for the next match, which India lost, and it took a while for the selectors to trust him in Tests outside India.

Look, it is not about one player.

Obviously these things have combined over the last few years and I have had a great time over the last 2-3 years. In sport such things happen. It was more about just keeping the rhythm going. They need to leave Cape Town behind them and move on.

Except that Ashwin produced the hugely disappointing figures of 0-83 off 36 overs as South Africa claimed a draw, and almost won. That has always been the case. Test cricket, especially when you are playing away from home and trailing in a series, doesn't throw up many lifelines.

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