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India gave a wonderful new year’s gift to cricket-hungry fans by an emphatic win over South Africa at Centurion, marking their first win at the famous Centurion. The win stood even more substantial as it was the first win by an away team in Centurion since 2014.

The nature of Victory was led by the deputy skipper KL Rahul's century and relentless attack by the four pacers, spearheaded by the veteran Mohammad Shami, who took 8 wickets and ensured the hosts had no chance whatsoever. So much so that even one day’s play was lost to rain but the spirited Indians managed to finish the game with a session to spare.

Match timings

Match Toss Time: 13:00 IST (09:30 Local)

Match Start Time: 13:30 IST (10:00 Local)

Head to head

Matches Played: 40, India: 15, South Africa: 15, Draw: 10

Venue and conditions

India couldn't have asked for a better start against SENA country. The second Test is scheduled to take place at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, this has been the hunting ground for India. India holds an incredible record at this venue as they are yet to taste defeat at the Wanderers. India has played five matches here, winning 2 and drawing 3 of them.

Who can forget the encounter in 2018? which India won on account of five-wickets hauls by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami by the margin of 63 runs which was a low-scoring encounter.

South Africa won against Sri Lanka as Nortje took fiver. Similarly, England defeated South Africa on account of the fiery bowling Of Mark Wood, who took 9 wickets. The match before South Africa beat Pakistan and Nortje was the architect.

Team News and probable playing Xl

South Africa

Quinton de Kock shook the cricket world by announcing his retirement and this is a big blow for the hosts. Wiaan Mulder did not fire, Maharaj went wicketless. So Duanne Olivier should replace Mulder as he had taken 4 wickets in an innings in his last encounter at wanderers. Klassen should be brought back to replace Quinton. 

We don’t see any other changes as Peterson showed the right technical prowess for the No.3 position. Bowling will mature for 2nd Test as Marco Jensen is a good find. Rabada got his length in 2nd innings. Olivier will strengthen the quadrant.

Probable playing Xl

Dean Elgar (c), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreyne/Ryan Rickelton (wk), Wiaan Mulder/Duanne Oliver, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi

India

The batting of India is at tatters. India is surviving on account of one-man shows, like Rahul in Centurion and in Shreyas Iyer at Kanpur serve as the best examples.

Indian batting is fragile as Mayank is a suspect against Moving the ball, Pujara has lost his self-belief. Kohli wants to dominate and he is lacking patience  Rahane has pressure to perform.

In nutshell, Indian batting is not trustworthy.

India has the best bowling attack, Jaspirit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and Mohammad Siraj will walk into any team in the world. Shardul has lost some of his pace but he is able to move the ball so he is a decent breakthrough bowler.

We feel there will not be any change in the Indian team unless injury. However, we feel Pujara should be replaced by Hanuma Vihari as he displayed patience in India A campaign to South Africa, he also brings spin bowling to the team. Rahane should be replaced by Shreyas as Rahane hits on the up and extra bounce at wanderers can cause his downfall.

Pitch and conditions

This illustration of the previous three matches is to showcase that Wanderers has high bounce and pace bowlers are the key.  Spinners have virtually no role, Hasaranga and Maharaj went wicketless in the last encounter.

The weather will be fine for 1st day, however, rain is expected to play spoilsport on at least two days. So match will be planned by teams keeping rains in mind.

Toss

As rain is predicted later so win toss and bat should be gameplan. At wanderers, there is no definite way. Any team who bats well wins and pace bowlers control the game. 

Prediction

India is a firm favorite to win the 2nd Test and register their first-ever Test series win in South Africa.

Happy viewing.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the author's view and do not necessarily reflect the official match scores, proceedings, or position of the match in any way.

Cover Credits: BCCIofficial