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SA v IND: The nature of Centurion pitch for the 2nd Test revealed

A big first innings score can set the match for the team.

Super Sport Park, Centurion
SuperSport Park, Centurion. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

India haven’t had the start that they would have wanted in the series. The preparations were different this time heading into the series. The team did not play any warm-up match instead chose to have more practice sessions. After throwing a few surprises in the playing XI, the team did not have a good outing at the Newlands.

Though the Indians bowled their heart out on Day 4 of the match, a Vernon Philander masterclass proved too hot for the men in blue. The bowlers made merry in a pitch that made life miserable for the batsmen. Hardik Pandya’s 93 was the highest individual score of the game which clearly proves that it was a bowler-dominated Test match.

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Change in playing XI

The 1st Test folded in four days in spite of no play on day three due to rain. According to Sportskeeda, it is believed that the pitch in Centurion will have a lesser grass covering. It will be a harder surface than the Newlands one which means that there would be more bounce and less lateral movement off the surface. Thus, India will likely go in with six batsmen and four bowlers.

Centurion is known for pace and lateral movement. Visiting sides have generally found it difficult to survive in these conditions. A big first innings score can set the match for the team. All eyes will be on the Indian batting line-up who have failed in the first Test.

KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane had extended sessions in the nets which indicate that there will be some tinkering with the playing XI. For India to stage a comeback in the series, run-machine Virat Kohli must not give his wicket cheaply. A strong defensive technique and ability to leave the ball in the corridor of uncertainty are few of the skills required to survive in these conditions.

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