The opening Test at Newlands proved to be a dampener for the spirited Indian cricket fans. This is perhaps only a trivia among many other more important factors that'll make a difference to the second Test between India and South Africa starting here at 10 am local time on Saturday. There was a sense of excitement among the fans. That means, if Ajinkya Rahane is to return as the sixth batter, he is likely to do so at the cost of spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
The bandwagon now moves to Centurion with India trailing 0-1. India's listless batting display on the Newlands track that offered a lot of bounce and lateral movement for the pacers dashed hopes of revival of India's overseas fortunes under Kohli. South Africa, with Jacques Kallis scoring his first double century, won by an innings, despite a heroic rearguard attempt from Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni. But office hours are office hours and practising for a Test is about being in the office and preparing for the big day. No one wants matches to fold up so rapidly.
Bounce, seam and swing were all there to see at Newlands and SuperSport Park is expected to be no less lively. But du Plessis also said that he was looking at Morris only as a fourth pacer. That aside, wicket-keeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha will not play the second Test.
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". However, some respite for the batsmen is definitely on the cards.
South Africa, meanwhile, look set to once again pick a four-pronged pace attack, Chris Morris is all set to make the South African XI as the replacement for Dale Steyn. The pitch will start a little slow and quicken up on Days 2 and 3. The stats also say so, with nine matches won batting first and the same number of matches, bowling first.More news: Micron Technology Inc Stock as Institutional Investors Enter
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The team management came up with some surprising selections ahead of the first match. Indian bowlers have done a magnificent job to curtail the proteas on both the occasions in the first match, which of course is a strong indicator that the bowlers will be on a roll for the rest of the series as well.
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 AjinkyaRahane must be a contender to replace Rohit Sharma at number five.
The ball was a bit too high when it made contact with his bat and Dhawan struggled to keep it down.
Ishant is the only bowler in the Indian line-up who has already toured South Africa twice.
Sunil Gavaskar has also gone on record to state that India should have played a few warm-up matches. Virat has showed tremendous confidence in Rohit and is willing to give him a longer rope.