Why Centurion is SA's field of dreams

Kohli has asked the batsmen to step up following the loss in the opening Test

Kohli has asked the batsmen to step up following the loss in the opening Test

Faf du Plessis, who marshalled a defence of a relatively low 208-run target in the first Test against India to lead South Africa to a 72-run victory, wasn't about to rest on the laurels of victory, stressing that India were a quality team and would grab their chances if South Africa relaxed.

Shikhar Dhawan's wicket in the second innings was a ideal example of Indian instincts being the reason for his downfall.

Mohammed Shami disappointed by bowling fully-pitched deliveries which were milked by Markram.

"I also don't understand why Ishant came in for Bhuvneshwar when he had taken three wickets on the opening day at Cape Town". "The success of our Test team is highly dependant on the fast bowlers That's why Lungi [Ngidi] has been brought in - we want to get a closer look at him".

"That series went by in home conditions without the Indian batsmen playing any real fast bowling. I worked hard on my fitness and that is paying off", he said at Eden Gardens after picking up the Man-of-the-match award for an eight-wicket haul in the Test.

"There is no need to panic as a batting unit, we have played well for a long time - and we have played well away from home as well". The Cape Town Test, one that India lost to by 72 runs in nearly four days, with one of those days getting robbed by rain, led to one such build-up.

Ahead of the second Test in Centurion, Virat Kohli and Co. are apparently busy gearing up for the upcoming Test. Shaking off the Cape Town loss, team India could be spotted at the nets not only sweating it out but also improvising and innovating their roles as well. He had failed in the first innings as well and now there must be a question mark about his capability as the best batsman in the world.

Proteas skipper Du Plessis said he expected pace and bounce but admitted he was not sure how the pitch would play.

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Defending 208, there is no better place to play with crowd cheering us on and the momentum carrying you in. "But we chose to go with this combination and current form was definitely the criterion", added Kohli.

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"For us as a team, it's all about finding the right balance".

Rahane's recent form is poor but he is a class act outside India, and while recent form, according to Kohli, was the basis for Rahane's non-selection at Newlands, historic form may be a factor that can't be ignored at Centurion.

Getting AB de Villiers as his first Test scalp was a "happy moment" for him, said Bumrah.

While it is understandable that the team requires fixing its combination urgently, especially with only two more Tests to save the series, it will be harsh on Saha if he is indeed dropped.

Instead, the good bounce and lack of lateral movement might just play well for batsmen on both sides.

"It looks a really lively pitch", Kohli said at his pre-Test press conference on Friday.

Then, in Kohli, Rohit and Pandya, India have three attacking batsmen who can put South Africa off their game, when that Kookaburra ball gets a bit soft.

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