South Africa vs India 2nd Test: Preview and Prediction
This will be a crucial match for both teams but for different reasons. For the hosts, this will be a chance to whitewash the Indians after winning the first Test quite comfortably. In that match, South Africa handed India a crushing defeat of an innings and 32 runs.
For the visitors, a win will not only help them restore parity in the series, but it will also salvage some of their lost pride. Moreover, they are now struggling in sixth place in the 2023-25 ICC World Test Championship standings, making a win all the more necessary.
What has happened so far?
In the first match of the series, India simply could not show up as South Africa walked away with an enormous win. After being asked to bat first, India could score only 245 runs, with KL Rahul scoring 101 of those runs. For the hosts, Kagiso Rabada picked up five wickets.
In response, the Proteas batters put up a monumental show to accumulate 408 runs. In his last series of his career, Dean Elgar was the star, scoring 185 runs. Alongside him, Marco Jansen played a great unbeaten knock of 84 runs. India was bundled out for 131 runs in the second innings, with Virat Kohli being the only batter who managed to score over 30 runs. This time around, Nandre Burger picked up four wickets.
As for the context of the ICC World Test Championship, India is ranked 6th after a win, a draw and a loss in three games. They got a win and a draw in a two-game series against West Indies back in July, before arriving in South Africa.
For South Africa, this is the first series of their 2023-25 cycle, which they have started with a win and are now placed first in the standings. It has to be noted that all of their major players will not be competing against New Zealand in the upcoming series, because of a clash with SA20, and so they will try to maximize the ongoing series and earn all possible points.
Head to Head Record
South Africa holds the upper hand when it comes to head-to-head records, but only by a very slim margin. These two teams have crossed paths on 43 occasions in Test cricket, with South Africa winning 18 of those games and India winning 15. The other 10 matches did not produce a winner.
However, India’s recent Test record in South Africa is poor. Before losing the last Test, they had toured the African nation back in 2021, where they suffered a 2-1 series defeat despite winning the first match.
Dean Elgar (South Africa): Often not rated in accordance to his stature and performances, Elgar proved once again why he is among this era’s finest Test batters by scoring 185 runs in the first Test, despite batting on a spicy wicket where no other batter from his team could get into the double-figures.
For India, Elgar has often been a thorn in the flesh. In the last time they toured South Africa, Elgar played a 77-run knock in Centurion and then backed it up with an unbeaten 96-run knock in Johannesburg. In his Test career of 85 matches, the veteran batter has scored 5331 runs at an average of nearly 40 and has 14 centuries and 23 half-centuries under his belt.
Virat Kohli (India): When the going got tough for India in the first Test, it was Kohli who kept on going. While he scored only 38 runs in the first innings, it was his 68-run partnership with Shreyas Iyer which brought the visitors back in the game after losing three wickets for just 24 runs. Then in the second innings, when no Indian batter could tackle the South African pacers, Kohli played a heroic 76-run knock.
His numbers are impressive in South Africa. In India’s last tour here, Kohli scored a half-century in Cape Town, where the upcoming match will be held. Earlier, he had scored centuries in Johannesburg and Centurion. The former Indian captain has scored 8790 runs in 112 Tests at an average of nearly 50, with 29 centuries and 30 half-centuries to his name.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram ©, Tony de Zorzi, Keegan Petersen, David Bedingham, Tristan Stubbs, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Nandre Burger
India: Rohit Sharma ©, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Mukesh Kumar
Although South Africa will miss Gerald Coetzee in this Test due to pelvic inflammation, and skipper Temba Bavuma also pulled his hamstring in the last Test, they still have plenty of match-winners in their squad who enjoy the home conditions. Hence, they will start this Test as the favorites.