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South Africa bat, Ngidi makes Test debut

13 January 2018

In One Day Internationals (ODIs) too, pacers take more wickets than spinners when playing outside the subcontinent. The usual suspects went about their job in predictable manner.

Rohit Sharma looks out of his depth away from home and he is certainly not a Test No 5, but perhaps dropping him down one spot and calling in Ajinkya Rahane is a direction India could go. On the eve of the second Test, Kohli actually mocked those asking for Rahane's inclusion in the XI. Fast bowlers have been the leading wicket takers in Test matches for India outside the subcontinent, and their share of wickets has been the highest in the current decade. Take into consideration his record in Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa in singularity, and this comes down considerably to 27.81 (11 Tests).

After the Cape Town loss the spotlight has been on how India will line up in this match and Kohli hinted that they may make changes‚ while also asking his charges to show greater application. Alternately, the Rohit-Rahane conundrum isn't as simple.

Parthiv Patel replaced Wriddhiman Saha who India captain Virat Kohli claimed has a hamstring niggle at the toss.

The other conundrum is regarding bowling attack.

The track seemed a hard and bouncy one with only a little sprinkling of green grass, quite unlike the one at Newlands. For Dhawan, it looks like the injury has taken a shot at his fielding which was sluggish in the first Test. If players fit in in the kind of balance we want to go in with as a side, then they will fit in. Among the bowlers, the need for change is probably less than with the batsmen.

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India will also be tempted to play the tall Ishant Sharma on a pitch that should offer bounce. He had to be patient and wait for his turn to get his hands on the ball, but when he did he more than played his part as he left the Test with match figures of 5/75. He challenged in his own way by saying that let the batsmen of South Africa beware of the Indian team.

South Africa have handed a debut to tall seamer Lungi Ngidi regarded as a hugely promising talent who will expect to get steep bounce at a brisk pace on his home pitch in provincial cricket. Even so, all-rounder Chris Morris is more likely to get the nod. Dale Benkenstine, South Africa team's coach, after watching these 5 overs, hired Uber to reach their hotel room. A surprise omission, though, was that of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

According to a report in a leading daily, India opener KL Rahul in all certainty will replace Shikhar Dhawan and will partner Murali Vijay.

In his first match‚ Bumrah claimed the prized scalp of De Villiers and also accounted for the dismissals of South African skipper Faf du Plessis and risky Quinton de Kock to end the match with figures of 4/112 after 30.2 overs.

What time does the match start?

South Africa bat, Ngidi makes Test debut