India vs South Africa, 2nd Test: Match Preview and Predicted Playing XI

India began the Test series against South Africa with a dominating win in the first Test at Visakhapatnam. 

Rohit Sharma was the standout performer in the opening game. Apart from him, Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara contributed with the bat. 

Ravichandran Ashwin in the first innings, with Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja in the second, played their part with the ball.

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Courtesy: NDTV Sports

On the other hand, the visitors showed some grit in the first innings and came close to India's first innings score after conceding over 500 runs. Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock smashed centuries. 

However, South Africa were bundled out on a difficult Day five pitch for merely 191 runs in their fourth innings to eventually lose the game by 203 runs.

The second Test between these two sides will be played at Pune between the 10th and 14th of October. India's last Test match at Pune was against Australia in 2016 when the hosts lost by 333 runs. 

Interestingly, this was the only game India lost at home in the last 31 Tests. But, it will take some effort from South Africa to beat this current Indian side as they are a really inexperienced outfit.

The Pune pitch is conducive for spin bowling and the past results are clear indicators to this fact. The home side was bowled out for just over 100 runs during their game against Australia in 2016. 

Australia's left-arm spinner Steven O'Keefe took six-wicket hauls in both the innings which helped them beat India with a huge margin.

This could be good news for India as they will avail the services of two of their world-class spinners in the team who have been doing exceedingly well at home in the last four years.

India might go with the same playing XI for the second Test too. With almost everyone contributing in the first game, Virat might not want to change the winning combination.

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Courtesy: Dhaka Tribune

However, South Africa could make a few changes for the next game. Theunis De Bruyn who never looked comfortable against spinners, might lose his place to Zubayr Hamza. The visitors also might be tempted to bring in Lungi Ngidi.

India's Predicted XI:

Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami

South Africa's Predicted XI:

Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis(C), Quinton de Kock(WK), Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada

Cover image credits: The Indian Express

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