Second Test preview: India v South Africa
The Test series between India and South Africa moves to Bangalore for the second of four Tests, with India leading the series one-nil after demolishing the Proteas inside three days in Mohali.
India are the obvious favourites, having no injuries or issues to contend with, while the Proteas will be without their two best Test bowlers. Vernon Philander has gone home with an ankle injury, while Dale Steyn has not recovered from his groin injury.
More pressing for Proteas fans though is the fact that Hashim Amla's side have not lost a Test series away from home since 2009, and are literally (using it correctly) the only team in the world right now who have a good record on the road.
This run is at risk, given they're down a match and a loss in this Test will see them needing to win the other two matches to get a series draw. That seems… tricky. The Proteas cannot lose this match, purely for the sake of retaining their status as the best travelling team.
They will be boosted by the fact that JP Duminy's hand injury is healed, and he should return to bolster the batting order, while paceman Morne Morkel is also recovered from his thigh injury. They could be the two to directly replace Philander and Steyn.
Steyn. His record in Asia is the best in the team by far, and his absence means the pressure will be immense on the other bowlers. Kyle Abbott has been called to India, but he's not played a Test in a year, while Kagiso Rabada has one whole Test cap.
Looking at the venue, Bangalore has hosted the Proteas only once, in 2000, and none of those players are present now. But Royal Challengers Bangalore's AB de Villiers is no stranger to the M Chinnaswamy, and will likely have as many fans screaming for him as the Indians.
AB, who will be playing in his 100th Test, scored three tons in the five-match ODI series, and was by far the leading run-getter. In Mohali he made a half century in tough conditions, and his team will need him to use all his local nous to bag a handy ton.
As for India, they're likely to be unchanged, with spinners Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja and Amit Mishra looked to for the wickets again. The deck is not expected to be as spinny as Mohali, but that may not mean much.
For India, they will again look to Ashwin. The Proteas struggled against him in Mohali, though often giving in to the sustained pressure and throwing their wickets away. Ashwin will hope they make his figures look impressive yet again.
The Proteas will rely on De Villiers, in his milestone match, to get the runs on the board. This is his home ground when he plays in the IPL, and he's the team's best player of spin. If he can't do it…
Last Five Head-To-Head Results
2015 First Test: India won by 108 runs in Mohali
2013 Second Test: South Africa won by 10 wickets in Durban
2013 First Test: Match drawn in Johannesburg
2010/11 Third Test: Match drawn in Cape Town
2010 Second Test: India won by 87 runs in Durban
India: Virat Kohli (capt), M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma
South Africa: Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Temba Bavuma, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Simon Harmer, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander (injured), Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas, Kyle Abbott
Dates: 14 – 18 November
Morning session: 09:30-12:00 (04:00-02:00 GMT)
Afternoon session: 12:40-14:40 (02:40-04:40 GMT)
Evening session: 15:00-17:00 (05:00-07:00 GMT)
On-field umpires: Ian Gould and Richard Kettleborough
Third umpire: Kumar Dharmasena
Match referee: Jeff Crowe
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