Second Test: Parthiv, Rahul set to play; Ishant may replace Bhuvi

Sunday, 14 Jan, 2018

We are a team that looks to fight back and get right back into the game we are not a team that gives opposition easy victories.

Morkel got KL Rahul, brought into the side in place of Shikhar Dhawan, too play a touch earlier then he'd wanted with the opener pushing the ball straight back to the bowler after making 10. Saha was a dud with the bat in the opening Test, scoring 0 & 8 at Cape Town. Save a last-minute development, KL Rahul (top right) and Parthiv Patel are nearly certain to feature, and the chances of Ajinkya Rahane (far right) look bleak.

After enduring an embarrassing defeat in the first game, especially with captain Virat Kohli conceding that a collective batting failure was the focal point of the loss, Team India could be in for a few changes for the second Test against South Africa.

"It looks browner than I thought it would be. We just need to apply ourselves better", Kohli said at the press meet. It doesn't mean that if you are playing six batters, you can afford to go out and play loose shots. One needs to have a solid technique and face bowling spells. "Possibilities are all open at the moment and we shall decide after practice", Kohli said, leaving much to speculation. The other takeaway from Kohli's interaction was asking the batsmen to play with more intent.

"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at others", Chopra tweeted indirectly hinting at New Zealand's hammering of Pakistan by 183 runs in the 3rd ODI of the five-match series that saw also the Kiwis bag the series.

Interestingly enough, there is some intent being shown in the composition of the team as well.

Parthiv last played against England and scored 195 runs in three Test matches, when Saha was injured.

However, he surprisingly made way for Ishant Sharma in this Test. Though batting sessions are misleading, there were clues in the team's fielding drills.

"Look at Cheteshwar Pujara".

Though the bowlers did a commendable job, even their balance is likely to be altered to suit the pitch in SuperSport Park.

Ravi Ashwin and Ishant Sharma were the two outstanding bowlers for the Indians; with the off-spinner picking up 4/113 in 38.5 overs, while Sharma, who replaced Bhuvneshwar Kumar, claimed 3/46 in 22 overs.

Also, Mohammed Shami, with his dodgy knee, and Jasprit Bumrah, with a stressful action, need to be used judiciously.