Centurion Test: Proteas ask India to field first

Kohli has asked the batsmen to step up following the loss in the opening Test

That's how India were able to get their act together with both bat and ball to win the few overseas Tests they have won.

Rahane's recent form is poor but he is a class act outside India, and while recent form, according to Kohli, was the basis for Rahane's non-selection at Newlands, historic form may be a factor that can't be ignored at Centurion. I expect a good cricket wicket and hopefully pace and bounce.

To succeed against South Africa and to beat them at home, you need attacking batsmen who can rattle the opposition, and we saw that happen in the little phase when Hardik Pandya got going in the first innings. Expectedly, there was no straight answer but a message that things were under control.

"If there was a bit of grass on it, it's fine then we back ourselves". "India is the same".

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The pitch at Supersport Park, Centurion, is expected to be another lively surface as the groundsman Brayan Bloy said that South African team management asked them to prepare a track with a lot of bounce and movement. In the previous game it was pace and it worked. There were calls questioning the omission of the middle-order bat, who in Kohli's words had been the team's "most consistent and solid player away from home". "I don't mind that". "Sometimes when you have a long batting line-up you can take your foot off because someone else might come and do that. Possibilities are all open at the moment and we shall decide after practice", Kohli said, leaving much to speculation.

"The balance is as easy or as hard as the performance of the team". "Everybody is on the same level".

And with conditions at Centurion again likely to favour fast bowling, Kohli has backed his batsmen to come good with a new positive approach against the quicks. In our dressing room, there's none of that. And he is not saying it just like that; he knows from experience what such losses do to your morale. He further said that it's important to adapt to different situations rather than just generalizing the conditions. On arrival at the ground on Thursday afternoon, the Indian players were surprised by the brownish strip, which means there may be a need for a spinner going forward. If we can have Vernon like that, it makes our bowling even more risky. Indian bowlers have done a magnificent job to curtail the proteas on both the occasions in the first match, which of course is a strong indicator that the bowlers will be on a roll for the rest of the series as well. He can bowl the whole day, he doesn't get exhausted.

"These things can always be looked at in hindsight - thinking what if or what if not". Bumrah, in fact, showed he had grasped learnings that usually take a couple of tours to sink in for other bowlers.

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