After India claimed a convincing win in the first Test, they will aim to clinch the series with a victory in the second Test in Pune. Bodog believes that India are favourites for this Test as well but based on South Africa's performance in Vizag, they have give the visitors an outside chance.
India - W-W-W-D-W-L-W-W-W-L
Looking at the past records, India have been extraordinary at home in recent times while putting up heroic performances in away matches too. Kohli and Co have lost just a couple of matches in the last ten fixtures, one against England at the Oval and against Australia in Perth, which was their only loss in the historic triumph ‘Down Under,’ earlier this year. Since the commencement of the World Test Championship, India have won all their matches including two in the West Indies and the previous one against South Africa last week.
South Africa - L-L-L-W-W-W-L-L-W-W
The Proteas have had a mixed outing in the five-day format of late having won 5 and lost as many games in the last 10 matches they played. Barring the loss to India in Vizag, the home series to Sri Lanka earlier this year has been really heartbreaking for them. With the core players of the last decade like AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla ending their international careers, they have found it hard to pull the strings together. The last test they won was against Pakistan in Johannesburg in January this year.
Head to Head
India: W - 12, L - 15, D - 10
South Africa: W - 15, L - 12, D - 10
The Indian skipper did not play a huge part in the first Test match at Vizag, with the top order scoring the lion’s share of runs in the match. But Kohli is undoubtedly India’s most lethal weapon and it is expected that India will need his services in the second Test in Pune. That is the reason why Bodog has also backed him up as the top batsman for India ahead of the South Africa fixture who has a top score of 88 against the Proteas at home. Interestingly, the batman’s average dips to 35.85 against the African nation at home compared to 55.80 which he enjoys in away matches.
The South African has been around on the Test circuit for quite a while now, but he yet to prove his prowess on Indian soil with an average of 14.22. He is particularly vulnerable to spin bowling as seen in the past and the only century he scored against the Indians was back in South Africa. Although he played a fine 55-run knock in the first innings in Vizag, he failed to turn it into a big one and save the Test match. Even after having a poor track in India with just a single half-century to his name, Bodog is still banking on du Plessis to score big in Pune.
As evident from past matches, the off-spinner is almost unplayable in Indian conditions. He took 8 wickets in Vizag and was toying with the South African batsmen. Ashwin has already stacked up 39 wickets against the Proteas at home in 5 matches, so he is undoubtedly the best bet for India in the third Test in Pune where the ball is known to have helped the spinners to a large extent. Ashwin averages 13.69 per wicket in India against the South Africans, which has prompted Bodog to choose him over the others.
Apart from the hammering South Africa suffered in the first Test match in Vizag, Kehasv Maharaj was the only relief they had. Having picked up 5 wickets last week, the visitors relied on the spinner to take the odd wickets and has had him bowl an astronomical 77 overs during the course of both innings. After his maiden 5-day affair in Indian soil, Maharaj will shoulder the burden of the rainbow nation once again in the second Test match in Pune. Although he averages 73.83 against India, the pitch conditions in Pune has made him the top bowler in the upcoming match, as per Bodog.
India’s only outing at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium was a nightmarish one having lost to Australia by 333 runs. Winning the toss, the Aussies put were bowled out for 260 runs, while India in reply was tamed by Steve O’ Keefe’s spinning web and was bundled out for 105. Setting up a target of 441 runs in the second innings, the Australian duo of O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon picked 6 wickets and 4 wickets respectively to wrap India’s chase, winning by 333 runs with two days to spare. Incidentally, it was the last Test match that India lost at home. Bodog will keep a close eye on the game.
Even though history is not on India’s side, India is still the favourites to win the match take an unassailable lead in the 3-match series. Bodog has heavily backed up India to take charge of the match, while South Africa are unlikely to pose any threats to the hosts. Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin are front-runners for being the pick of batsmen and bowlers for India as per Bodog’s predictions with Faf du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj tagged as the top performers for South Africa for the Pune Test.
India: Virat Kohli (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma (vc), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Heinrich Klaasen.
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune
When to watch: October 10-14, 2019, 9.30 AM
Where to watch: Hotstar and Star Network
You can also follow all the ups and downs of the game live on Bodog - a place where you can gauge exactly who holds the upper hand in the game at any point of time.
Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami
Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Thenuis De Bruyn, Temba Bavuma (vc), Faf Du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Senuran Muthusamy, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi
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