Team India faced humiliation in the first match of the two-Test series against South Africa, losing by an innings and 32 runs in just three days. The Proteas were clinical and dominating, taking an unassailable 1-0 lead. As the teams gear up for the second Test, South Africa stands as clear favorites at home, given India’s lackluster performance in the opening encounter.
|India tour of South Africa, 2023-24
|Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa
|Date and Time
|03 January 2024, 14:00
Table of content
South Africa Preview:
South Africa had a perfect start to the series at Centurion, dominating India in every aspect. Dean Elgar’s splendid knock of 185, supported by David Bedingham and Marco Jansen, led them to a massive total of 408. Captain Temba Bavuma’s absence in the final Test due to injury is a setback, but Aiden Markram is expected to step up.
The bowling attack, led by Kagiso Rabada and supported by debutant Nandre Burger and Marco Jansen, proved lethal. Gerald Coetzee’s absence in the second Test due to a pelvic inflammation is a concern, but the fast bowling attack remains formidable.
India had a forgettable outing in the first Test, with only Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Jasprit Bumrah making an impact. Rohit Sharma struggled, and the young batters, including Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Shreyas Iyer, need to step up. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli’s contributions with the bat are crucial for India’s revival.
In the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah stood out, but Shardul Thakur, Prasidh Krishna, and Mohammed Siraj faced challenges. Avesh Khan’s inclusion in the squad provides an option for the pace attack, and he might replace Prasidh in the playing eleven.
Probable Playing XI
|South Africa Predicted Playing XI
|Dean Elgar (c)
|Tony de Zorzi
|Kyle Verreynne (wk)
|Lungi Ngidi/ Wiaan Mulder/ Keshav Maharaj
|India Predicted Playing XI
|Rohit Sharma (c)
|KL Rahul (wk)
|Ravichandran Ashwin/ Ravindra Jadeja
|Prasidh Krishna/ Avesh Khan
The upcoming Test at Centurion’s SuperSport Park promises assistance to pace bowlers, especially in the initial phases. As the ball ages, batters who navigate through the challenging early period may find opportunities to score. Spinners might not enjoy as much effectiveness, but they can still apply pressure by maintaining control from one end. Meanwhile, Cape Town is expected to experience bright and sunny weather throughout the Test.
SuperSport Park in Centurion has witnessed an average first-innings score of 327, emphasizing the potential for significant runs. The highest team total at this venue is an impressive 651, achieved by South Africa against Australia in 2009. In terms of run chases, the record stands at 334-6, with Australia achieving this feat against South Africa in 2006.
Toss: To Bowl
Considering Cape Town’s reputation as a venue favorable to bowlers, winning the toss might tempt the captain to opt for bowling first. Restricting the opposition to a modest total early on could set the tone for the match.
RSA vs IND – Winning Prediction
In recent history, India has managed to secure Test victories in four out of their last five tours of South Africa, despite not winning an entire series. However, their performance in the first Test was lackluster, particularly with a bowling unit that struggled to make an impact. South Africa, despite missing some key players, looks formidable in their home conditions and is poised to continue their dominance.
Prediction – South Africa Will Win
Backed by their strong performance and home advantage, South Africa is expected to secure victory in this Test, ultimately clinching the series with a 2-0 scoreline.