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India head to happy hunting ground for second Test v S Africa

India’s
comprehensive 113-run first Test win was built on a solid first day with the
bat and their hugely impressive pace attack on a spicy wicket, and sets them up
for a first ever series win in South Africa.

Injuries
aside, India are unlikely to change their team, though the form of batsmen Cheteshwar
Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane remains under scrutiny.

The tourists
won on their last visit to The Wanderers in 2018, a gutsy performance on a
difficult wicket which captain Virat Kohli believes paved the way for their
recent success abroad, including in Australia and England.

“It’s a
top start for us,” Kohli said. “It’s always a difficult place to play
against South Africa. We got so much confidence out of Johannesburg last time.
It’s a ground we love playing at.”

India have
recorded two wins and three draws in their previous five Tests at the venue.

South Africa
will be forced into at least one change, with wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de
Kock always set to miss the final two games of the series while on paternity
leave. However, he then made his absence from the five-day format permanent
after unexpectedly announcing his retirement following the first Test loss.

Kyle
Verreynne kept wicket in De Kock’s absence in the West Indies in June and is
likely to get the nod again, though uncapped left-hander Ryan Rickelton has
been in excellent form with the bat in domestic cricket.

The home
side could select Duanne Olivier as a fifth seam option in the place of spinner
Keshav Maharaj, who failed to take a wicket in the first Test and did not bowl
at all in India’s second innings.

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It is likely
they will keep faith with 21-year-old left-arm seamer Marco Jansen, who took
5-124 on debut in the first Test and grew into the game after a slow start.

“I
don’t think we’ll lack any confidence heading into Johannesburg but it’s never
nice losing a game, especially when we know where we went wrong,” South
Africa captain Dean Elgar said.

“It’s
difficult to correct those wrongs during a game, but building into the second Test,
we’ll have some time to reflect around what has happened.”

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