Date & Time: Thursday, October 10, 09:30 IST
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India
Rain looms over Pune as India seek to extend dominance
The result of the first Test was on the cards even before it started due to India’s formidable record at home. But at the end of the first inning, it was not the case as South Africa showed grit and made Indian bowlers toil hard for wickets. Although the same was not shown by their bowlers which allowed India to take charge. In the second innings, the Proteas batsmen were not just undone by the spinners but they were equally rattled by pace bowlers as well. This certainly will affect their confidence heading into the second Test at Pune. On the other hand, India would be happy with the way the new opening pair worked out and hope for them to continue this trend in the matches to come.
South Africa has to choose between either D Piedit or S Muthusamy who were expensive throughout the first match. This brings Lungi Ngidi into the Playing XI. On the other hand, India is likely to stick with the winning combination.
Last time when India played here, they had a bitter experience with preparing a surface that is too much prone to spin. But this time around it won’t be the case with the weather forecasts predicting rain in Pune. This forecast for rain on each match day, may dampen the surface or could produce some help for pacers if the surface is underprepared.
He may have had a poor show in the first innings of the previous match but he came back strong in the second and found some form after a poor Windies tour. There is every chance he will continue the same in the second test as well, since he was known to pile on runs at home. He has a PPM of 102 in the format.
After a low key Windes tour, Agarwal has put on a show with a double century. His impressive record at home makes him one of the most sorted out players in the Dream11 cricket team. He has a PPMC of 124 and an MDTA of 1.25 in the 5 Tests played so far.
The Indian captain hasn’t had much to do in the first test as the bulk of the scoring was done by the Top order. But in the second he might have to play a big role if the surface offers assistance to pace with the rain around in Pune. He has a PPM of 126 in the format.
Faf du Plessis
The Proteas skipper had a decent outing in the first match where he scored a gutsy half-century. He may have failed in the second innings, but he still remains the side’s most experienced batsman when playing in these conditions. He has a PPM of 91.4 in the last five games in the format.
It seemed all fell into place as Rohit opened for the first time in Tests. His centuries in both innings is one of the reasons for India’s dominance, especially in the second innings. There is every chance he may replicate the same if the surface doesn’t offer any assistance for pacers.
He may have struggled to score runs on his previous tours to India, but he has come up with a brilliant knock in the very first test of the series. He might not possess a great technique but he is known for his gritty nature to accumulate at the crease for longer periods.