Having lost the opening Test against South Africa at the Supersport Park in Centurion by an innings, Team India find themselves under pressure to bounce back in the 2nd. They have a massive task ahead of them to avoid yet another series defeat in the rainbow nation and they are likely to take some tough calls.
Team India's batting unit, bar Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, presents a massive concern as they floundered in both innings on a spicy Centurion wicket. The buck starts with their captain Rohit Sharma, who scored 5 and 0 at Centurion. The likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, and Shreyas Iyer got starts, but South Africa's pace attack proved too strong to let them make a big score.
Jasprit Bumrah, playing his first Test in over a year, was the tourists' standout bowler, taking 4 wickets. The likes of Shardul Thakur, Prasidh Krishna, and Mohammed Siraj shared only 5 wickets between them, but failed to hit the right lengths consistently, thereby leaking a lot many runs than expected.
Axe likely to wield on Prasidh Krishna and Ravichandran Ashwin:
Prasidh Krishna made his international debut in 2021 and got his first Test cap at Centurion, with the tourists likely hoping that his height could extract that extra bounce off the surface. However, the Karnataka-born pacer was wayward in his line and lengths. His inexperience showed as the match moved forward, finishing with figures of 20-2-93-1.
Off-spinners haven't earned enough purchase in the seaming and bouncy tracks of South Africa and Ravichandran Ashwin's fate hasn't turned out any different. He claimed only 1 wicket at Centurion and now averages 49.64 in 7 Tests in South Africa with only 11 victims. However, he could've had at least two scalps in the 1st Test if not for the dropped chances.
With Ravindra Jadeja making himself available for selection, he is the most likely candidate to replace Ashwin. Jadeja's batting abilities will also strengthen India massively as they look to challenge Proteas' bowling unit.
With Shardul Thakur also failing to deliver as per expectations with both bat and ball, he also remains under the scanner. But he is expected to play in Cape Town.