India v South Africa 2nd Test Tips, Predictions and Preview - Proteas bid to level series

Rohit Sharma (PA Images)

South Africa fought hard for a day and half in the first Test in Visakhapatnam before India flexed their muscles to record a 203-run win. 

The teams now move to Pune for the second Test, as South Africa are desperate for a slice of inspiration as they look to level the series.

India


The hosts had a lot of positives going for them in the first Test, with key players leading the charge. ‘Man of the match’ Rohit Sharma had a great debut as Test opener (176 & 127), while Mayank Agarwal got his first Test double century.



Mohammad Shami showcased his second-innings prowess once again (5 for 35), while Ravichandran Ashwin (eight wickets) and Ravindra Jadeja (six wickets) showcased how good they are in these conditions. All in all, it was a complete performance on expected lines from India with nothing much to worry about. If anything, they have a problem of plenty as Ishant Sharma wasn’t needed much with the ball.

South Africa


The fight from South Africa was pristine, but the task for them was too much to scale. Their usual problems against spin surfaced in the second innings, with a horrendous collapse going against their hopes of fetching a draw. Regardless, the performances of Dean Elgar (160) and Quinton de Kock (111) in the first innings and Aiden Markram in the second (39) was a glimmer of hope.

However, bowling looked completely out of sync as the Protea bowlers could only pick 11 wickets in the Test. The troika of spinners couldn’t have the same impact as their Indian compatriots. Captain Faf du Plessis and the team management will surely have their hands full with selection.

Match Up


India dominated the proceedings in the first Test with a near-perfect performance in every department. They look strong to continue their charge and close out the series with a win. However, one thing that works in South Africa’s favour is that India’s last defeat in home conditions came at Pune against Australia in 2017. Regardless, South Africa need an incremental change in their performances to make a mark. Once again, it is India’s Test to lose.

History & Statistics


  • India have won seven of their last nine Tests (W7, D1, L1) including the last three.
  • Ten of India’s last 11 Tests have been won by the team batting first.
  • India’s last home Test loss was to Australia at this venue in February 2017.
  • South Africa have lost their last three Tests, but have not lost more since losing five in a row in 2005-06.
  • South Africa are winless in ten Tests in the Indian sub-continent (D4, L6), losing the last five.

Key Players


Ashwin spoke about losing his ‘love for cricket’ when he was out of the team in the Windies. Back in the side now and able to pick up wickets at will, the off-spinner will be key to India’s chances.

All-rounder Senuran Muthusamy was unbeaten through the first Test (33* & 49*) playing out 214 balls in total. However, his bowling still needs to improve with just one wicket coming in Visakhapatnam.

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India v South Africa 2nd Test Tips, Predictions and Preview - Proteas bid to level series

South Africa fought hard for a day and half in the first Test in Visakhapatnam before India flexed their muscles to record a 203-run win. The teams now move to Pune for the second Test.

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