India vs South Africa, 2nd Test: How Proteas can win against the hosts
After going down in a convincing manner against India in the first Test, the South African Test team has an uphill challenge ahead of them in the second Test, to be played in Pune. The most likely result remains a victory for the Virat Kohli-led team. However, Indian fans would remember what happened the last time a Test was played here.
It was the first game in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy of 2017. Australia recorded a convincing win thanks to a hundred by Steve Smith and a haul of 12 wickets in the match from Steve O'Keefe. The pitch was a dire dustbowl where Australia gained the huge advantage of batting first. So, can the South African's also turn the tables on India, like the Australians?
Well, if the visitors have to win the second Test, there are certain things they have to do. Let us look at, step by step, all the necessary requirements for a South African win at Pune.
The importance of toss cannot be overrated. While the Indian team has shown the capacity to win matches while batting second, even if the opposition puts up a good total, any visiting team finds it very hard to deal with scoreboard pressure when they are up against quality spin bowlers. So, for South Africa, batting first, and therefore making India bat last, would be very important.
Rabada has to roar for South Africa to surge
The last time India lost a series at home, one of the main bowlers who caused trouble to them was James Anderson. His brilliant performance in Kolkata Test of 2012 between India and England was one of the major reasons for his team winning that match, and consequently, the series. Hence, South Africa can't just rely on their spinnersto win in India.
Their best bet among the set of pacers they have in the squad is Kagiso Rabada. While he didn't get too many wickets in the first Test, Rabada didn't bowl badly. But in the second Test, the young pacer will have to take his bowling to the next level. He will have to prove that he can succeed in all conditions. Perhaps a bit of reverse swing, if available, may do the trick.