The State of Play
India head into the second Test in Cape Town 1-0 down and needing a win to salvage a draw from the two-game series.
The tourists were comprehensively outplayed at Centurion – slumping to an innings defeat inside three days – and head to Newlands looking to register their first win in seven attempts.
To do so, they will need to improve in every facet of the game. Their batting looked surprisingly fragile in the first Test with only KL Rahul and Virat Kohli offering any resistance.
Their bowling was also ineffective with Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna not taking their opportunity to back up opening pair Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.
For South Africa, this match is all about Dean Elgar. The veteran opener will captain the Proteas in his final Test in the absence of the injured Temba Bavuma.
Elgar starred in the game at Centurion with a brilliant 185 that set the platform for South Africa’s win.
The Proteas have a couple of notable absentees with captain Bavuma joined on the sidelines by all-rounder Gerald Coetzee.
Zubayr Hamza is likely to deputise for Bavuma after impressing for the A and Lions sides while Coetzee’s replacement will be either Lungi Ngidi or Keshav Maharaj. Ngidi will get the nod if he proves his body can stand the rigours of Test match cricket.
India have a full complement of players to choose from and should stick with Thakur and Krishna despite their struggles last week.
South Africa: Elgar (c), Markram, De Zorzi, Petersen, Hamza, Bedingham, Verreynne (wk), Jansen, Ngidi, Rabada, Burger
India: Sharma (c), Jaiswal, Gill, Kohli, Iyer, Rahul (wk), Jadeja, Thakur, Bumrah, Siraj, Krishna
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 1, 2024
What they said
Dean Elgar on captaining South Africa in his final Test
“I only play the game to win. I don’t care about stats. I care about wins. I care about series wins. That’s the greatest memories you can ever share with your team, everyone that has got an influential role in the background. Test series wins – you don’t top that. Maybe a World Cup win is up there. I have never had that opportunity but this is my World Cup. This is my arena where I want to win.”
Rohit Sharma on India’s selection conundrum
“Although we’ve had a brief chat with the management, the coaching staff about what we want from this game, and what we want from the bowlers in this game, we’ve not completely finalised our playing XI. Everyone is available for selection. There’s no injury concerns. All of them who are here are available to play. We’ll sit down in the evening and decide what is the right one.”
When and how to watch
The second Test takes place at Newlands in Cape Town. The match can be watched from 7am tomorrow on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket.
India visibly struggled with the conditions at Centurion and the Newlands groundsman won’t stray too far from another fast, bouncy wicket. The tourists will offer more resistance but expect the Proteas to mark Elgar’s departure by avoiding defeat and securing a series win.