The Indian cricket team will play its second Test of the three-match Test series on South Africa tour from January 3 (Monday) at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. After a thumping 113-run victory in the first Test at Centurion, skipper Virat Kohli can now enter the second Test with the same winning combination. However, considering the conditions of Johannesburg, Umesh Yadav can be included in the playing XI in place of Shardul Thakur. Team India has taken a 1-0 lead in the series and by winning the second Test, they would like to win the Test series for the first time in South Africa.
Virat always likes to have a seaming all-rounder in the playing XI. However, head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Virat Wanderers will try to take advantage of the wicket, which still has some grass on it. Umesh Yadav regularly bowls full length with a speed of 135 kmph and hence he can be a better option than Shardul. Shardul took only two wickets in his 16 overs in the first Test and 4 and 10 runs in two scored with the bat. The conditions at the Wanderers may force Virat and coach Dravid to change tactics. There is a lot of grass on the pitch and it is raining in Johannesburg. In such a situation, the moisture in the air will help the fast bowlers and Umesh Yadav can be helpful with his swing.
Talking about India’s probable playing XI, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are sure to get a place in the team as openers. Rahul scored a century in the last match. Cheteshwar Pujara can get the place at number three. However, his form has been poor. Virat Kohli’s place is confirmed at number four. Virat can give Ajinkya Rahane a place in the team at number five. Shreyas Iyer scored a brilliant century in his Test debut but may sit out in the first Test. Hanuma Vihari is also finding it difficult to find a place in the playing XI. Rishabh Pant is sure to get a place at number six. Umesh Yadav can come in place of Shardul Thakur at number seven. Ravichandran Ashwin is at number eight and then the pair of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah looks set to play in the playing XI.
India’s probable playing XI in the second test-
KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin/Hanuma Vihari, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj.