Threats that India can face after losing the toss in the second Test

South Africa's Dean Elgar plays a shot off the bowling of India’s Jasprit Bumrah.
South Africa's Dean Elgar plays a shot off the bowling of India’s Jasprit Bumrah.
©REUTERS
 

It is true that winning and losing a Test match depends upon merit and grit. But winning the toss can certainly give the team an initial push to bring the momentum on its side.

In the second Test of the ongoing series, South African Captain Faf du Plessis won the toss yet again and chose to bat first. This can help the Proteas take the pole position. Here is a look at the five dangers that Virat Kohli & Co. can potentially face in the coming days of the Test match.

First Innings deficit

In the last 5 matches played on the SuperSport Park, the average first innings total is 463. It is obvious that the pitch plays at its best on the first two days of the Test match. After that, it starts to wear and tear.

India, who will bat second, run the risk of conceding a first innings lead which can prove detrimental to them. A first innings deficit was the cause of India's downfall in the first Test and the same could happen again.

Under utilization of Ashwin's potential

There would be maximum purchase on Day 4 & 5 for the spinners after the pitch breaks down. Ashwin will bowl most of his overs on Day 1 & 2, when there are no such demons in the pitch.

The off-spinner could have also benefited from the variable bounce that would be on offer later. He could also have made better use of the rough towards the right-handers' off stump on the Pavilion end. Instead, he will have to make due with whatever little assistance the pitch provides in the first two days of the game.

Pitch likely to quicken up

With the sun beating down and the heavy roller used on the pitch, it is expected to quicken up on Days 2 and 3. India would be batting for the major part of these days. This would make runs relatively difficult to come by.

The pitch may not go through any drastic changes but these little things do matter in a game full of attrition. It is already known that bowlers such as Rabada and Philander can make the best of even an iota of assistance from the surface.

Uneven bounce

There have already been signs which indicate that the pitch will start to keep low in the following days with the odd ball shooting up. Once that starts to happen, batting will keep getting tougher as time progresses.

The likes of Morne Morkel and Lungi Ngidi will cause trouble to Indian batsmen by virtue of being tall. Their height makes them most suited for exploiting the variable bounce in the surface.

India to bat in the fourth innings

The team batting in the fourth innings will have to face the most elusive conditions. In such circumstances, even a score of 150-200 can be very challenging for the Indian batsmen.

Moreover, the team batting last has to also face the dilemma of either saving the Test match or chasing the given total. As we have seen on past occasions, it is highly probable that the batsmen buckle under scoreboard pressure.

© Cricket World 2018