The Wanderer's Test turned out to be a boon for rebuilding the side of South Africa, which was reeling from the retirement of AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, and recently Quinton De Kock. The rebuilding side lost to Sri Lanka but Victory at Wanderers will go a long way in sedimenting the nucleus of players. The skipper Dean Elgar has been the unsung hero and probably now he will get the respect which he deserves to wrest the initiative from India.
Chinks of Indian team
First of all, Rahane should have been the Captain if he is part of the team, He is an unbeaten Captain and it was imprudent to give reins to KL Rahul and India paid the price. As mentioned in the previous articles, the Indian batting is in tatters and it continued in the same fashion, however, the duo of Pujara and Rahane regained their reputation and Pant lost his credibility.
I remember Kapil Dev was ousted for a match as he played a similar shot against England. Rishabh Pant did this during the World Test championship and now, He should be given a warning and that could be in the form of keeping him out of the third Test.
Indian bowling failed miserably. When the likes of Ngidi, Rabada, Olivier, and Marco Jensen moved the ball off the pitch in both directions. For India barring Shardul, no one was able to get any assistance off the pitch and straight ball can never pose a challenge. In the first innings, Shardul's 7 wickets haul was salvaged but the inefficiency of Bumrah and Shami was surprising.
India has played 5 matches here losing 3 and drawing 2. In 2018 India lost by 72 runs inspite of 93 runs innings by Hardik. Overall, it provides even chances for both teams. In total 58 tests have been played. South Africa has won 26 and visitors 21. South Africa beat Pakistan, SRI Lanka, Australia recently but lost to England in the last 3 years.
The average first innings score is 328, 2nd innings 296, 3rd innings 235, and fourth innings 161. So it offers even chances to batting first or batting 2nd.
Match Toss Time: 13:30 IST (10:00 Local)
Match Start Time: 14:00 IST (10:30 Local)
Head to head
Matches Played: 39, India: 15 South Africa: 16, Draw: 10
Pitch and toss
Pitch assists seam movement for the first three days and later is expected to assist spin on the 5th day to be precise. It is a wonderful pitch and picturesque view under the table mountains.
Most probably team winning the toss will be opting to bat as the fourth innings is difficult but if one scores well batting second then it is an advantage too.
Team news and probable playing Xl
After the stupendous performance, we do not foresee any change. Marco Jensen is a treasure who will be a star.
South Africa (SA): Dean Elgar (c), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi
Mohammad Siraj is injured and Indian skipper Virat Kohli is expected to be back, so two changes are a must. I feel sorry for Hanuman Vihari, who will pave way for Kohli. Ishant Sharma is likely to replace the injured Mohammad Siraj.
If we rewind the clock we can recall when Dravid managed Rajasthan Royals, where Owais Shah criticized him for promoting Rahane at the cost of winning. So, Dravid will always be politically correct so he will retain Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant. Will he?
India (IND): KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj/ Ishant Sharma
This is a must-win Game for India to carve out the elusive series win. Under the situation only a miraculous performance by one of their batters like KL Rahul in the first Test, victory will remain elusive for India. The pace attack of South Africa is potent and has the capacity to induce edges and their batsmen are finding ground.
So happy viewing
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.