The 1st Test between India and South Africa at Visakhapatnam didn’t produce an unexpected result as India won the game comprehensively by 203 runs. What was surprising, however, was the way the South African batsman showed resolve in the 1st innings and fought back to make India sweat for the wickets. Unfortunately, the lack of depth in their bowling and the way the top-order collapsed on the final day eventually resulted in a crushing defeat for the visitors.
With two more Tests to go in the series, the next match at Pune on the 9th of October is crucial for both the teams. India would look to win the match and seal the series. South Africa would like to stage a comeback and level the series to entertain chances of making history.
The way things stand, Team India look to be favorites at the moment to win the 2nd Test. Their batting unit has been in great form, firstly. Rohit Sharma, who hit two hundreds in his first match as an opener, would be looking to continue his firm. Fellow opener Mayank Agarwal who got a sparkling 215 in the last Test will be a solid presence at the top. The likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, captain Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja further bolster the Indian batting unit.
The Indian bowling too showed that it has different heroes who can step up and be counted. Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin along with seamer Mohammad Shami are all among wickets and would be licking their lips if the Pune track has some bounce and turn.
South Africa, meanwhile, have a lot to think about. Captain Faf du Plessis would take heart from how Dean Elgar (160) and Quinton de Kock (111) showed resolve in the 1st innings of the last Test. However, opener Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma and the skipper himself would have to contribute more if the Proteas hope to make an impact in the second Test. One of the positives they have is that the team’s batting unit is long and the tail has shown great character.
What is letting South Africa down, though, is their uninspiring bowling. Star fast bowler Kagiso Rabada returned with only 1 wicket in the last Test. Seamer Vernon Philander was impressive only in patches. Spinners Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt and Senuran Muthusamy looked listless against the strong Indian batting and would have to put up a much better show if they hope to win this match.
Match Betting Tips: India vs South Africa, 2nd Test
There’s only been one Test played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune – between India and Australia in 2017. On a spinning track, the visiting Australian side shocked the Indians by defeating them by 333 runs.
It will be interesting to see how the surface behaves during the second Test match between India and South Africa here. This is likely to assist spinners and be decent for batting during the first three days. Ashwin-Jadeja would hence be a threat. And this is likely to be a low-scoring Test.
Given India’s home domination and current form, along with their batting strength and the quality of spinners in the eleven, they are the favorites to win the 2nd Test match. South Africa might show fight, but they are too inexperienced at present to get past the might of India.