Another pace test awaits India

Another pace test awaits India

The 23-year-old right-hander Markram registered his second fifty with the help of nine fours.

Luck did not go India's way in the first match, despite fighting efforts from the bowlers, including the pace quartret of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya. Opening batsman KL Rahul was in for Shikhar Dhawan, wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel in for Wriddhiman Saha, and seam bowler Ishant Sharma for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. But what I found remarkable was that they immediately hit the flawless length for South African conditions.

Despite the manner in which Indian batsmen surrendered to the South Africa quick bowlers, Gavaskar is positive that the visitors can draw parity in Centurion. "If you do that against a strong team like India, they'll pounce on us". "But if we play four seamers, he is someone who gets talked about because he has pace and the X-factor, and obviously he bats as well". The wicket looks a bit browner than I thought.

After the third day of the first Test between South Africa and India was washed out due to rains, Monday is likely to see some action at Cape Town's Newlands Stadium with the rain gods finally relenting.

Having lost the first Test to South Africa in Cape Town, Team India is trying out all possible ways to resurrect their form in the next game which begins on Saturday. If the pitch miraculously plays out like an Indian pitch, the batsmen should be okay, but if it does not, we have to expect only a marginal improvement in the way they adjust to the extra bounce.

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The Indian skipper emphasised that team selection was less about individuals but more about "finding the right balance".

The man was watching the India vs South Africa match on Friday when Kohli was dismissed. "As long as we are winning it is fine", Du Plessis said on the eve of the second Test.

To be fair to Rahane, he's a classic Test match cricketer who deserves a place in the eleven, especially with India playing overseas when he averages close to 55. The young opener has spent hours at the nets and was even seen practising hard with the batting coach during the first Test. There can still be a cracker of a series despite more speedy tracks awaiting Team India in Centurion and Johannesburg. He felt that would have prepared Indian batsmen for the challenge they were to face in South Africa.

This is also a sign of a lack of planning by the authorities; as much as T20 cricket has led to flat, batting-friendly pitches across the world, Test match cricket is the real thing and the best preparation would have been at least one, ideally two preparation matches against local sides. Sharma, who does not only boast of vast experience but also of a good height, can extract more bounce for the same reason.