South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first in the second Test at the SuperSport Park, Centurion.
The hosts have handed a debut to Lungi Ngidi to replace injured Dale Steyn while the visitors have made three changes to the side that lost the first Test, bringing in KL Rahul, Parthiv Patel, and Ishant Sharma.
Here is what the captains side:
Faf du Plessis:
We are going to bat first again. The previous one was touch and go but all the stats are in favour of the team batting first out here. The cracks could open up over the next few days and it coule get difficult. There are a few things in the first Test we think we can improve upon. Lungi Ngidi is making his debut on his home ground.
It is a no brainer. We would’ve wanted to bat first as well. The pitch looks very different from what it looked a couple of days ago, all the grass has been taken off. It is more of a situation that’s tricky out here, hopefully the bowlers will step up. Saha has a hammy niggle and we do not want to take a chance with him. KL Rahul comes in for Dhawan and Ishant comes in for Bhuvi to get some extra bounce.
After the humiliating defeat in the first Test, world number one India will be desperate to bounce back in this game. Unlike the pace bowlers, it was an outing to forget for the Indian batsmen as they failed to deliver in either of the innings. In the first innings, India were reeling at 92 for 7 before Hardik Pandya’s 93 helped them to post 209 while in the second innings, they were all out for just 135 in pursuit of 208. With the series on the line, the visitors will be eyeing an improved show in Centurion.
The hosts, on the other hand, are brimming with confidence at the moment after thrashing the world number one Test side in the series-opener. With the momentum on their side, the Proteas will be keen to wrap up the series on a ground which is nothing less than a fortress for them.
Here is the playing eleven of both teams:
Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi
Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma