After the Indian team's batting order collapsed in the first Test match in Cape Town, Skipper Virat Kohli, while addressing the mediapersons on Friday, stated the team does not need to panic about its batting unit.
Now in the top three batsmen across all three formats of the game according to the International Cricket Council rankings, Kohli is a national icon in India. Kohli backed his decision to play Rohit Sharma and offered no assurances of a possible comeback for his deputy.
Rohit showed good temperament during the first innings and saw off the first hour of the second day's play but was trapped plumb in front of his wickets for a painstaking 11 from 59 balls.
During India's tour to South Africa, India will three Tests, 6 One Day Internationals and 3 T20Is on the tour. But, he feels that either KL Rahul or Ajinkya Raahane will make it back to the XI after missing out on a place in the first Test. "Initially it was for me to keep him quiet upfront, and I always knew I had the one coming back", said Philander, who took a career-best six for 42. He may have collected the majority of his Test runs outside India, but the bulk of them have been in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - hardly benchmarks for Test quality in recent years.
Catch all the action in the 2nd Test match from Centurion, 13th January onwards at 1:30 PM IST, 10 AM local time. The wicket in Centurion will be quick as well.
Opening batsman Aiden Markram had indicated that the wicket won't have as much green on the wicket, saying that it won't be as "extreme" as Cape Town. If we apply ourselves, we will give ourselves a chance to have a crack at the result, which was there in this game also.
"I would actually play five bowlers and play KL Rahul in place of Shikhar Dhawan".
Similarly, in the pace department, Jasprit Bumrah was handed debut straightaway with the more experienced likes of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav warming the benches. As a bowler you look to get the first wicket early and I got AB de Villiers. You got to put this behind and try and comeback stronger in the next Test. "I am still learning and hopefully in the further matches, I will be able to do better", he said. While the bowlers kept the visitors in the hunt, the batsman failed to chase down the low total of 208 runs and India suffered a 72-run defeat.
The SuperSport Park pitch has a reputation for being one of the most hard places to bat but 39 centuries have been scored in the past and Indian batsmen need to show the required dedication and commitment to keep this three-match Test series alive.
India's top five will have to pull their socks up in the remaining two matches and reignite the spark to have a shot at at least drawing the series if not winning.