Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Don't take step back or India will pounce, warns du Plessis

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Rita Gibson | 13 January, 2018, 13:49

After enduring an embarrassing defeat in the first game, especially with captain Virat Kohli conceding that a collective batting failure was the focal point of the loss, Team India could be in for a few changes for the second Test against South Africa.

What is in store for India in the 2nd Test against South Africa?

South Africa have won the toss and asked India to bowl first in the penultimate second Test of the three-match series at the SuperSport Park here on Saturday.

Set 208 for victory, India were bowled out for 135 in under 43 overs. But India is the world's top-ranked Test team, so we should be able to take on all comers. India will however have an uphill task of winning this match and levelling the series.

"As soon as the Test ended, a message should have been sent to the groundsman to not water the pitch, so the players could come and practise on the same pitch which had given them the problems". For Dhawan, it looks like the injury has taken a shot at his fielding which was sluggish in the first Test. "Now it is time to move forward and focus on the second Test", he said. On both the occasions they bounced back to take the series 2-1.

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The decision would surely raise eyebrows with questions about the young man's durability as yet unanswered but the gamble may pay off as it could enable the Proteas to keep up the intensity of the first Test to ensure India remain on the back foot. "If you do that against a strong team like India they will pounce on you".

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with. "If you pick four seamers, he can be in them", said du Plessis. You definitely need that to win Test matches but you also need a solid batting performance. He Further said that we aim to prepare a surface that has something in it for the bowlers in the morning before getting a little more batsman-friendly. If players fit in the kind of balance we want to go in with as a side then they will fit in. Opening batsman KL Rahul was in for Shikhar Dhawan, wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel in for Wriddhiman Saha, and seam bowler Ishant Sharma for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. While his batting wasn't up to the mark, even the rest of the batsmen, barring an enterprising Hardik Pandya in the first innings, couldn't get going.

Pacers account for more than twice as many Test wickets outside the subcontinent as spinners, a Mint analysis of ESPNcricinfo data shows.

Instead, the good bounce and lack of lateral movement might just play well for batsmen on both sides.

Kohli, on the other hand, said: "It looks likely a really lively pitch". Sharma, who does not only boast of huge experience but also of a good height, can extract more bounce for the same reason.

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