India skipper Kohli welcomes lively Centurion pitch


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.

A local police official told Hindustan Times that Babulal succumbed to his injures on Tuesday morning.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat in the second test against India in Pretoria on Saturday.

Set 208 for victory, India were bowled out for 135 in under 43 overs. However, considering the superiority of Proteas pace battery, South Africa were also confident of their chances which proved right in the end as they beat both rain and Indian batting to take a 1-0 lead and even square up for Mohali and Bangalore in one go. India will however have an uphill task of winning this match and levelling the series. It won't be easy with Centurion being South Africa's fortress.

"As soon as the Test ended, a message should have been sent to the groundsman to not water the pitch, so the players could come and practise on the same pitch which had given them the problems. I always knew I had the one coming back!" said Philander, who took a career-best 6/42. India were in the game for 90% of the game, so it was a fantastic contest between two really strong teams. "Now it is time to move forward and focus on the second Test", he said. They have stuck to their natural game, punishing bad deliveries and not flirting much with the wide balls outside off.

Image credit ICC
Image credit ICC

When Markram and Elgar brought up their 50 stand, they had faced 124 balls as India's bowlers toiled. I had a close realisation of this when we went to Australia and South Africa in the early '90s. So, can they be dropped now after failing in one Test in which the best of batsmen on both sides could not get going? Why overseas, they lost the first Test even at home to Australia by a massive 333 runs at Pune past year and before that to Sri Lanka at Galle. "We had it in out arsenal to get those last three wickets".

Meanwhile, KL Rahul and Ishant Sharma have been named to replace Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, respectively.

The second Test of the three-match series will be played from January 13 to 17 at Centurion. India last played a test in the venus way back in 2010-11 series and they were hammered by an innings and 25 runs on that occasion. He felt that would have prepared Indian batsmen for the challenge they were to face in South Africa.

South African skipper Faf du Plessis, who will be playing on his home ground, however expressed his surprise at the presence of brown grass on the pitch in the pre-match press conference. If you don't have pace, your attack can get one-dimensional. Ishant Sharma is also a good bet keeping in mind the bouncy nature of the Centurion track.

Jordan Spieth six off the lead after late quadruple-bogey — Sony Open
By then, two-time major victor Johnson was in the clubhouse after a 67 that included three birdies and an eagle at the ninth. His next wouldn't come until the par-5 ninth, where he two-putted from 33 feet to turn in four-under 31.