Pacer-Friendly Pitch to be on Offer in Centurion Test

Other fast bowlers would feel disrespected had their captain told the wicketkeeper to stand up to the stumps

Other fast bowlers would feel disrespected had their captain told the wicketkeeper to stand up to the stumps

South Africa's hero at Newlands seemed more willing to carry a heavier burden in that 72-run victory after being publicly criticised in England previous year.

Those were Mitchell Johnson's figures in February 2014‚ when Australia won by 281 runs. Now dropping Rohit after failure in just one match will be unfair to him.

The Men in Blue gear up for the penultimate second Test at the Centurion which decides the fate of the Test series. A loss will mean the series is gone. For some reason, he wasn't doing that in Cape Town.

In comparison, the Indian batsmen could not come to terms with the pitch, and may not be able to do so even when the second Test begins.

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India know what is coming and their success will be determined by how they handle the threat.

On a positive side, the Indian team has always shown that extra aggression under Virat Kohli's captaincy and if that aggression is displayed again here, I must say India can send jitter waves to the South African dressing room.

The hosts bundled out India for 209 and 135 in the two innings, registering a 72-run victory at Newlands, Cape Town. He's down with a strain and Parthiv Patel, the second 'keeper India are travelling with will make it to the eleven.

Rohit flopped in both the innings and Rahane's absence was felt. The latter, who impressed in the first innings at Newlands, will sit out as conditions here may not aid swing bowling. It was a happy moment, and from there on, we took a lot more wickets. That aside, South Africa could stay with the combination that fell in place so beautifully at Newlands. However, Pandya and Bumrah having cemented their spots, it is uncertain that who will make way for the lanky pacer. South Africa also have the option of calling on the services of all-rounder Chris Morris if needed. Expect Kagiso Rabada, now the World's No. 1 in rankings, and Morne Morkel, whose home Centurion is, to come fast, bowl short and maintain metronomic lengths session by session. "That's why Lungi has been brought into the squad - we want to get a closer look at him and what he can do".

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As someone who has been on the cricket beat for a while, I've seen warm-ups gradually become utterly irrelevant. "I believe there is a lot of talent there". Much of it for the batsmen, a little to bowlers and the team management. He asked me if I was sure saying South Africa was ahead by 142 and had eight wickets in hand.

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"If you pick four seamers, he (Morris) can be in amongst them", said du Plessis. Centurion has helped reduce proud‚ strong teams like India and Pakistan to the risible standards of Zimbabwe and West Indies. And while there's no Table Mountain to provide a stunning backdrop, the SuperSport Park is among the venues easiest on the eyes, with rolling grass banks all around and the Gautrain track passing right outside. Learn from the mistake you made and go forward. The South Africans will be going all out to ensure their own journey is as relaxed as possible, with the series already in the bag. It is that sort of intent that both teams will be seeking in what promises to be another action-paced Test. If it is just pace and bounce, they should be okay with a bit of application.

By Kieran Gill for the Daily Mail
Some television replays were initially unclear whether the ball brushed against Murray's arm before falling into the net. Even then it is only if he requests assistance or it is recommended by the VAR, and Marriner makes the final decision.

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