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My India and South Africa teams for the 2nd Test

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

The first Test between South Africa and India was as thrilling as it was concerning for both teams.

Both sides struggled with the bat on a seaming pitch, and there could be a few changes for the 2nd Test in Centurion, especially for India. Here is my India team:

1. Murali Vijay

Despite a quiet game in Cape Town, Murali Vijay will certainly keep his spot for the Centurion Test. Vijay has resisted well in South Africa in the past, and will need to get back to leaving the ball well, after two dismissals against deliveries outside the off stump in the 1st Test. This was very surprising considering one of his strengths is leaving the ball, and India would want more from Vijay in the 2nd Test.

2. KL Rahul

Shikhar Dhawan OUT, KL Rahul IN.
When the team for the first Test was announced, I could not quite believe that Shikhar Dhawan was picked ahead of KL Rahul. Shikhar Dhawan is my definition of a “flat track bully” and looked all at sea in the first Test, especially against the short ball. I expect KL Rahul to play, and offer more than Dhawan.

3. Cheteshwar Pujara

Still a player with a key role to play if India are to fight back in this series.
Pujara hung in really well on the second morning before wafting at one to give a very easy catch to the slips, and then got an amazing ball in the second innings from Morne Morkel. Pujara’s overseas record continues to underwhelm, but he’s a class player, and has what it takes to play a big innings for India when it really matters.

4. Virat Kohli (c)

Pretty self explanatory.
However, Virat Kohli had a huge chance in the first Test to deliver a win for his team but couldn’t deliver. Much will be expected of one of the best players in the world to help keep the series alive for India,

5. Ajinkya Rahane (vc)

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I could not believe Rahane was left out of the side for the first Test.
Boasting an away record of 53.44 in 24 Tests, it was a very questionable decision by India to leave Rahane out. In the end, the decision didn’t pay off with Rohit dismissed cheaply twice, and in the process, finding out the difference between Sri Lanka at home and South Africa away. Ajinkya Rahane should replace Rohit Sharma in the 2nd Test, without a doubt.

6. Ravichandran Ashwin

It is certainly tempting to leave Ashwin out for another specialist batsman, but I think it’s important to play a spinner for two reasons. First – to have variety in the attack, and second – he could have a role to play towards the end of the Test.
Also, he should be given the opportunity to prove himself in South African conditions. In addition, the onus should be on the India top order to perform. Much has been said about how it is the best batting lineup in the world – well, they must prove it. 
7. Hardik Pandya (wk)


India’s best performer in the 1st Test without a doubt, keeping them in the game with a brilliant second day peformance, where he scored 93 and took two wickets to keep India right in with a chance.
The challenge for Hardik is remaining consistent, but he has the talent to do so.

8. Wriddhiman Saha (wk)

Plenty of talk that Parthiv Patel is in with a chance of a Test recall. However, I think Saha should be persisted with – he’s excellent with the gloves and can add important runs down the order.

9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Easy selection. His bowling has gone from strength to strength, and gave India a superb start in Cape Town, taking three very quick wickets to leave South Africa reeling. Can he repeat his performance?

10. Mohammed Shami

Until the second innings, fourth day, Shami wasn’t quite at his best. Then, he came to life, taking 3/28 in 12 overs and caused the South African batsmen all sorts of trouble. He will play and have plenty to offer.

11. Jasprit Bumrah

Another questionable selection was Bumrah ahead of Ishant, especially considering it was Bumrah’s first Test. After a disappointing and expensive first innings, Bumrah, like Shami, came good in the second innings, finishing with 3/44. Considering India showed faith to pick him in Cape Town, it would make no sense to drop him now.

For South Africa, who replaces Dale Steyn? Do they go with another batsmen, or Andile Phuhlekwayo, who can do both?
For me, I think Temba Bavuma should come in to provide extra cover, as South Africa showed that their three seamers are very difficult for India to handle, and also because their batting looks a little thin with their top order a little edgy. It will be interesting to see how South Africa’s top three of Elgar, Markram and Amla go after they all had relatively quiet outings in the first Test, despite South Africa putting on 50 for the first wicket in the second innings. I can’t wait to see AB De Villiers go at it again, as well as the amazing South Africa attack.
South Africa XI: 1. Dean Elgar, 2. Aiden Markram, 3. Hashim Amla, 4. AB De Villiers, 5. Faf Du Plessis (c), 6. Temba Bavuma, 7. Quinton De Kock (wk), 8. Vernon Philander. 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Keshav Maharaj, 11. Morne Morkel.
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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