India vs South Africa
So, it was first blood India in emphatic fashion.
They were dominant in Visakhapatnam to win the first test of their three-match home series against South Africa by 203 runs. And now, it’s time for the 2nd Test India vs South Africa.
There was so much to admire as they produced many India vs South Africa highlights but, of course, the man who grabbed most of the headlines was Rohit Sharma.
In becoming the first batsman to score two centuries in his maiden Test as opener, he hit 13 of those maximums as he broke the record for the most sixes in a Test by a player.
How do you follow that in Pune as India look to assert their dominance over the Proteas on home turf?
Well, both nations will try.
Of course, most talk in the build-up will concern Sharma after he moved to his career-best position in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen.
He has moved to 16th position while skipper Virat Kohli — who won his record 28th Test as captain against West Indies — dropped below the 900-point mark for the first time since January 2018.
He is now on 899 points, 38 behind top-ranked Steve Smith, not that I expect he will lose too much sleep about that.
Just as an aside, in the same test Sharma became the first Indian batsman to be stumped in both innings of a Test.
Not just his mode of dismissals in both innings were the same but also the bowler and wicket-keeper combination as Keshav Maharaj and Quinton de Kock twice combined to get rid of the star India opener for 176 and 127 respectively.
Sharma being stumped in both innings is a first for India and the 22nd time it has happened in the history of longest format – former England cricketer Wally Hammond was the last batsmen to be dismissed stumped in both innings versus South Africa in 1939.
However, Sharma remained the star performer and that unwanted stat was surpassed by his wider efforts
Indeed, the Vizag Test saw 37 sixes across five days, the most in Test cricket of which India hit 27, and, of course, Sharma alone smashed 13.
In fact, in the only other test match to have had more than 30 sixes was in 2014 when New Zealand defeated Pakistan.
South Africa last visited India at the end of 2015 and had a horror Test series, losing the contest 3-0. With key players like number three batsman Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn having retired from international cricket, there is an opportunity here for the likes of Theunis de Bruyn and spinner Keshav Maharaj to cement a position in their line-up.
Yet they will need to produce a more consistent showing than in the first test and certainly can’t afford any more of the embarrassments they have suffered on their travels from time to time.
Aside from their great form and a home crowd, India will also have conditions to suit their play, and will again be major favourites in the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Let’s not forget South Africa have traditionally fared quite well in India.
Yes, they went down to a 3-0 series defeat three years ago, but they drew the two-match series in 2009/10 and the three-match series immediately before that.
You have to go back to the turn of the millennium, however, to when they last won a test match on Indian turf.
They won in Mumbai by four wickets in a thrilling contest which was all over inside three days.
The second test in Bengaluru was even more emphatic as South Africa recorded victory by an innings and 71 runs.
Of the last 17 tests on Indian soil, the hosts have only been defeated in five – and that run stretches back to 1992.
|India vs South Africa||South Africa Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 4.57|
|October 10-14, 12:00 (GMT+8)|
SBOBET India vs South Africa betting odds on the Proteas will earn you a nice payday if successful.
You can back them Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 4.57 or 1X2 @ 7.52.
In contrast, India are 1X2 @ 1.44 or Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 1.14.
I fancy India to win this one and seal the test with a match to spare.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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