Elgar bids to bow out on winning note and seal series win

Elgar bids to bow out on winning note and seal series win

Dean Elgar will bid to bring the curtain down on his Test career by skippering South Africa to victory in the second and final Test against an India side who are likely to make at least two changes.

Dean Elgar century 27 December 2023
Photo: AFP

The tourists hopes of achieving their first ever series success in South Africa were comprehensively dashed as they lost the first Test by an innings-and-32 runs last Thursday.

South Africa will be revved up to give Elgar a victorious farewell.

The 36-year-old will captain the side -- standing in for the injured Temba Bavuma -- and is in fine fettle having scored a majestic 185 in the first Test.

India look set to revamp their bowling attack.

Left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is expected to return in place of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Jadeja suffered a back spasm before play on the first day of the first Test.

Jadeja will add depth to India's batting, which crumbled in Centurion, as well as being a capable bowler.

India are also likely to make at least one more change to their bowling line-up.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj maintained reasonable control in Centurion but lacked support from all-rounder Shardul Thakur and newcomer Prasidh Krishna.

At least one of Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan is in line to play at Newlands.

Avesh was added to the squad after impressive performances in India's one-day series win which preceded the Test matches, which he followed with a five-wicket haul for India A against South Africa A last week.

With the exception of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, India's batsmen looked ill-equipped to deal with South Africa’s all-pace attack.

Captain Rohit Sharma continued to struggle in South African conditions, being dismissed twice by Kagiso Rabada for five and nought.

In five Tests in South Africa, Sharma has only scored 128 runs at an average of 12.80, compared to an overall Test average of 45.45.

Young batsmen Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer all looked vulnerable against the fast bowlers.

Conditions at Newlands are unlikely to favour fast bowling as much as they did at Centurion but bowlers can still expect some assistance.

The pitch had a covering of green grass on Monday although the surface would be mowed before the match.

Aside from Bavuma the hosts will also be without fast bowler Gerald Coetzee who suffered a pelvic injury during South Africa's win, achieved in three days.

South Africa will want to accommodate left-arm spin bowler Keshav Maharaj and will have to decide whether to pick a specialist batsman in Bavuma's place.

Either Zubayr Hamza or Tristan Stubbs could come in as a batsman or they may opt for five bowlers with Marco Jansen filling the all-rounder position, batting at number seven.

Lungi Ngidi, who was judged not to have fully recovered from an ankle injury, is expected to be fit for selection.


South Africa:

Dean Elgar (capt), Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Keegan Petersen, David Bedingham, Tristan Stubbs, Zubayr Hamza, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Marco Jansen, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Nandre Burger.


Rohit Sharma (capt), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wkt), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, KS Bharat (wkt), Abhimanyu Easwaran.

Umpires: Ahsan Raza (PAK), Langton Rusere (ZIM)

TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)

Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)


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