After South Africa prevailed in a thrilling opening contest at Newlands, the Proteas and India move on to Centurion for the second test match which gets underway on Saturday.
Despite losing a full day of play to rain the first test was settled on Day 4 with South Africa claiming a 72 run victory.
The test match had many twists with India the first to seize the initiative after taking 3 very early wickets in the first session but the Proteas recovered from 12/3 to finish on 286. The major contributions came from AB deVilliers (65) and Faf du Plessis (63) whilst Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 4/87.
India’s first innings started in similar fashion to the Proteas and then continued to falter and at 92/7 they were looking at a hefty first innings deficit. Enter Hardik Pandya (93 off 95 balls) and the visitors were given hope, eventually all out 209 with 3 wickets a piece for Philander and Rabada and 2 each for Steyn and Morkel.
Despite Pandya’s heroics the Proteas were still very much favourites but India came back again, bowling their hosts out for just 130 in the second innings with the wickets shared amongst the 4 seamers.
The final innings saw India put on 30 for the first wicket and they were trading as favourites in play but 30/0 became 135 all out with Philander claiming 6 wickets to seal the win and put South Africa 1-0 up with 2 to play.
The Proteas will be without Dale Steyn who finished the first test on crutches and unable to bowl in the final innings.
The Venue, Supersport Park, Centurion
We haven’t seen a test match at this ground since the Proteas beat New Zealand by 204 runs in August 2016. Faf du Plessis made 112 in South Africa’s first innings total of 481/8 declared, New Zealand were bowled out for 214 and South Africa never let go.
Overall the Proteas record here is impressive with 22 matches since 1995 delivering 17 wins, 3 draws and just 2 defeats. That sequence includes an innings and 25 run victory over India in December 2010.
Overall Head to Head
Overall since 1992 the teams have met 34 times, South Africa have won 14, India 10 and 10 have been drawn
On South African soil the teams have met 18 times with the Proteas winning 9, India 2 and 7 have been drawn
South Africa 6/10
Note odds quoted are an average of what is available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
We saw a cracking contest at Newlands and given this is a “result ground” it looks like a do or die match for India in terms of staying in the series. Kohli’s energy for the game is something else and I give him the vote over Pujara to top score for India in the first innings when a captains knock might well be needed.
All the Indian seamers had their moments at Newlands but I thought Kumar was the most impressive and he gets the vote to be top visiting bowler in the first innings.
Bet: Top Away Bowler - 1st Inns, Bhuvneshwar Kumar at 3/1
Top Away Batsman - 1st Inns, Virat Kohli at 5/2
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