After the shellacking received in Delhi, bowlers would perhaps hope for the hospitality to spill over to the conditions as well, but that’s unlikely at the Barabati stadium. While focus will squarely be on the bowlers to up their game – admitted as much by Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the eve of the fixture – it will also be interesting to see if India bat with the same sort of uncharacteristic abandon on what could be a slowish surface.
For South Africa, the expectation will largely be to produce more of the same from their record-shattering evening two days ago. Starting with the rub of the green in Temba Bavuma’s favour at the toss, what with dew likely to make an erratic impact.
South Africa Probable XI: Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma (c), Dwaine Pretorius, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Aiden Markram is still out with Covid, not that a batting order that performed so well in Delhi should be disturbed. The half of it that was required to chase down South Africa’s record target, anyway. But Keshav Maharaj, unlucky though he was in the first match, might make way for Lungi Ngidi.
“We discussed what went wrong. It was just the first match of the series and everyone is coming out of the IPL, and almost everyone who is in the team had a good season (in IPL). We just spoke about what needs to be done in the 2nd game and where we can improve. It wasn’t a big discussion because anyone can have an off-day. As a bowling unit we had an off-day, and we just want to come back in the next match.” – Bhuvneshwar Kumar