Pretoria, Aug 23, 2013
After a morale boosting victory in the first ‘Test’, a confident India A will be aiming for a clean sweep against hosts South Africa A when the two teams square up for the second and final ‘Test’ on Saturday.
The Cheteshwar Pujara-led team thrashed the Proteas by an innings and 13 runs in the first Test with almost all the top-order batsmen getting big scores. The bowlers led by rookie pacer Ishwar Pandey were also equal to the task by taking 20 wickets in two days with the lanky Madhya Pradesh pacer grabing a match-haul of seven wickets.
After playing the opening ‘Test’ at Rustenberg, the Indian team will now return to the familiar territory at the LC de Villiers Stadium. The Indians have played five List A matches here including their final triumph against the Australians less than fortnight ago.
With the senior players like Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina scoring centuries in the first game, the in-form Shikhar Dhawan will hope to make amends for one his rare failures in this tour with a big innings.
The track at the venue promises to be a belter and no one can easily forget Dhawan’s blazing 248 against the same opponents in a List A game couple of weeks ago.
Ambati Rayudu is the only specialist batsman who didn’t play in the first ‘Test’ and it will be interesting to see whether he will get a go tomorrow.
Similarly Wriddhiman Saha, who has been brilliant behind the stumps hasn’t set the stage on fire with his batting and Dinesh Karthik who played a key role in ODI final triumph might fancy his chances in the second game.
In the bowling, young Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parvez Rasool will be hoping to get a look in as the track favours slow bowlers more.