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Pune Test: Virat Kohli and Co. look to clinch series win against South Africa

Having registered a crushing win over South Africa in the opening Test, Virat Kohli-led India will look to continue their winning momentum and seal the three-match series with a game to spare when the two sides head into the second match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday. 

The hosts took a 1-0 lead in the series after clinching a crushing 203-run win over the Faf du Plessis-led side in the first Test at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.

The first match saw India dominate South Africa in all departments. Rohit Sharma marked his debut in Test match as opener with two double centuries–176 and 127. 

En route to his centuries, Sharma smashed a number of records like becoming 1st Indian batsman to score tons in all three formats as opener, fourth batsman from the country to score a century while opening the innings for the first time in Tests and second Indian batsman after former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid to notch up six straight fifty-plus scores on home soil.

While Sharma’s opening partner Mayank Agarawal became the second Indian opener to score Test double hundred against South Africa with a 215-run knock in the first innings, bowlers Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami also showcased brilliant efforts to help India extend their win record in the ICC World Test Championship.

South Africa, on the other hand, will be keen to bounce back and win the second match in order to keep themselves alive in the series. Heading into the upcoming match, the visitors will look to take confidence from their first innings score of 431 in the first Test and display better performance with both bat and ball. 

Notably, the second Test between India and South Africa will also mark Kohli’s 50th match as the Test captain.

As far as weather is concerned, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts of Maharashtra, including the Pune district, for next four days. 

The two squads are as follows: 

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (capt/wk), Rassie van der Dussen (vc), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde.

Source: Zee News