Centurion: In a must-win Test match for India, South Africa once again won the toss and elected to bat first in the second Test here at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Team India were once again forced to bowl first in this series, as they were in the first Test in Cape.
The visitors have made three changes in its playing XI as Parthiv Patel, Ishant Sharma and KL Rahul have been included in the Indian line-up, while the host replaced the injured Dale Styen with Lungi Ngidi, who makes his debut for the South Africa.
“We would’ve wanted to bat first as well. The pitch looks very different and dry from what it looked a couple of days ago, all the grass has been taken off. Saha has a hammy niggle and we do not want to take a chance with him. KL Rahul comes in for Dhawan and Ishant replaces Bhuvi to get some extra bounce,” said Virat Kohli, after the toss.
This morning, India skipper Virat Kohli said that his team was ready to fight fire with fire and the lively track on offer at the SuperSport Park in Centurion won’t be any deterrent for his boys and they weren’t just mere words and the batsmen backed it with action as they kept facing short pitched deliveries at the nets.
However, Kohli was confident of bettering Indian performance after losing the first test match in the 3-match Test series. “It looks likely a really lively pitch. Exactly what we expected it to be and we actually wanted it to be that way so that both teams are into the contest provided they play some good cricket. We are pretty happy to see the wicket how it behaved in Cape Town that gave us many opportunities to stay in the game and make comebacks whenever we were put under pressure also. Yeah look, this pitch will again test us to play our best cricket and that is something that we are looking forward to.” Kohli had said in the pre-match press conference on Friday.
“The previous one was touch and go but all the stats are in favour of the team batting first out here. There are a few things in the first Test we think we can improve upon. Lungi Ngidi is making his debut on his home ground,” said Faf du Plessis after winning the toss.
Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungisani Ngidi, Morne Morkel.