South Africa have won the toss and have opted to bat against India in the second Test at the SuperSport Park, Centurion, on Saturday.
Virat Kohli’s side will aim to bounce back after their defeat in the opening Test against South Africa.
While talking about the second Test, Indian skipper strongly believes that experience of Newlands will help visitors put up a better batting show in the second Test.
“One must not get surprised by the bounce here. There are other pitches that bounce around the world as well. But here bounce can be steep and it can be quite steep from length. Those are things you have to mentally tune yourself to get over and accept that this is going to be the major part of batting in South Africa.”
The South African skipper Faf du Plessis is expecting a strong response from the ICC table toppers.
“I expect another huge performance from them. They are a remarkably strong team and for us, it’s making sure that we don’t take a step back and rely on a 1-0 lead. If you do that against a strong team like India, they’ll pounce on us.”
While talking about the toss and second Test, Virat said, “It is a no-brainer. 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. We were looking for a similar wicket to Cape Town and the way we got back into the game gave us a lot of heart. It is more of a situation that’s tricky out here, hopefully the bowlers will step up. The first hour will be difficult for the batsmen and we are looking to exploit the conditions. 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.”
Talking about the pitch and Lungi Ngidi debut, Faf said, “We are going to bat first again. It is usually very slow on day one and it takes to spin later on. The previous toss was touch and go but all the stats are in favour of the team batting first out here. The cracks could open up over the next few days and it could get difficult. It is still a big fight, two quality teams trying hard to win a Test match and we expect the same from India. There are a few things in the first Test we think we can improve upon. Lungi Ngidi is making his debut on his homeground. He’s an exciting youngster and has a lot of pace and bounce. And that is the only change.”
South Africa leads the three-match Test series 1-0.
India (Playing XI): Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma
South Africa (Playing XI): Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungisani Ngidi, Morne Morkel