Stuart Broad was one of the chief architect for England's victory © Getty Images
Stuart Broad was one of the chief architect for England’s victory © Getty Images

South Africa face England in the second Test of theBasil D’Oliveira Trophy 2015-16 at Cape Town on Saturday. It is the second game of the four-match Test series, with this also being the first Test of 2016. The visitors lead the series 1-0 after a superb 241 run- victory in the first Test at Durban. That game exposed the dejected state of the hosts in longer-format of the game ever since the Indian tour. The failure of big names like Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy and injury to Dale Steyn hampered South Africa’s chance of revival. England on the other hand, will feel content with new players coming into their own in the hardest-arena for a cricketer to perform. With only a gap of two days between the first and second Test, Vishal Mehra notes how both the team will be looking to catapult themselves to a better 2016. FULL SCORECARD: South Africa vs England, 2nd Test at Cape Town

After losing the first Test at Durban, South Africa will look to make amends in the second Test by equaling the series. Continuing with their poor run in the longest format since the tour to India, the batsmen were unable to middle the ball. Skipper Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and JP Juminy’s inability to provide big runs have been one of the few reason why the team has seen steady downfall in results. Amla did admit that fact that not scoring enough runs has been the Achilles’ heel for the teams losses. AB de Villiers who has been the only consistent performer so far was seen in a rather uncomfortable position when asked to keep wickets at Durban. In the bowling department, their bad luck continued as premium fast bowler Dale Steyn got wounded his shoulder in a bid to out bowl the English team. Steyn unavailability has been the main reason for Africa fall. READ: Top 5 England performances in first Test vs South Africa

Quinton de Kock and Chris Morris have been called in as reinforcements going into the second Test. With De Villiers reeling under the pressure of wicketkeeping and batsmen it is inconsequential that de Kock will be drafted in the playing XI in place of Stiaan Van Zyl, who did play with positive intent in the second innings at Durban. Steyn is set to set out the Cape Town Test will be replaced by Kagiso Rabada, who had a economical and rather impressive India series. Hardus Viljoen has also been called as cover for Abbott, who is going through some injury trouble of his own.

The visitors will be all smiles after a comprehensive win at Durban. England will have more positives going into the second match, with almost each member of the team contributing in the team’s victory. The forms of new comers such as Nick Compton and James Taylor will only add to the already teams confidence as captain Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali and Joe Root being the mainstay of England’s escalation in the 2015-16 season. Root who is ranked No.2 in the ICC ranking for Test batsmen will make sure he gets past Steven Smith in the very start of the year.  ALSO READ: 2015 Yearender: England’s rise from The Ashes

James Anderson‘s return will only add to the festivities for England. Anderson who missed first Test citing calf strain will find it easy to add to his tally of wickets with South African batsmen struggling with form. With Broad, Moeen and Steven Finn all in top form, addition of Anderson will only add more woes to the hosts chances of turning the series in their favour.

Come the 2nd of January both South Africa and England will again lock horns in an attempt to reigns bragging rights heading into the second Test at Cape Town. Hoping this New Year brings great cricketing illustrations between the world No. 1 ranked Test side and a top the contender to dethrone them.

Time: (10:30 local | 08:30 GMT | 14:00 IST)


South Africa (likely playing XI): Hashim Amla(c),Temba Bavuma, Dane Piedt, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(wk), JP Duminy,Quinton De Kock (wk).

England (likely playing XI): Alastair Cook(c), Alex Hales, Joe Root, James Anderson, James Taylor, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler(wk), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Nick Compton

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry, who enjoys his weekly dose of anime, and plays cricket once a white moon. His twitter handle is @vishal_oxyjinn)