India predicted XI for 2nd Test vs South Africa: Will Hanuma

India will take on South Africa in the second Test of the three-match series starting January 3 at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The Indian team took a 1-0 lead in the series with a 113-run win against the Proteas in the first Test at Centurion’s SuperSport Park earlier this week. The pacers dominated the first Test, while KL Rahul was the standout batsman scoring 123 runs in the first innings. Despite beating the hosts, India will have to deal with some areas, including middle-order issues in Johannesburg. For the record, India have an amazing record at the Wanderers as they have not lost a single Test match at this venue.

Here are India’s probable XI for the second Test against South Africa:

KL Rahul: Fresh from his innings of 123 in the first innings and named as India’s stand-in captain for the ODI series, KL Rahul will be highly motivated ahead of the second Test. He will lead India’s batting line-up in the second Test.

Mayank Agarwal: His 60 in the first session on the first day was probably as good as any Indian opener we have seen in South Africa. He is likely to be retained in the playing XI, and will try to make the most of these opportunities in Rohit Sharma’s absence.

Cheteshwar Pujara: Despite failing to achieve anything in both the innings at Centurion, Pujara is likely to be backed by the Indian team management as he is not the only batsman who has struggled to score runs for the past year or so.

Virat Kohli (Captain): Is there a debate? Despite failing to score a century for over two years, Virat Kohli will marshal his troops with the same passion and intensity as India look to seal the series in Johannesburg. He will once again take the field with the hope of ending the drought of the century.

Ajinkya Rahane: Ajinkya Rahane might have given himself some respite after his 48 in the first innings. He played some great shots on the difficult track but failed to maintain his concentration. However, this could be his last chance to save his Test career.

Hanuma Vihari: Hanuma Vihari could replace Shardul Thakur to strengthen India’s under-firing middle order. Shreyas Iyer is another option but Vihari is likely to be cleared based on his seniority as well as his performance for India A in South Africa earlier this year.

Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper): Like his innings against Australia and England, Rishabh Pant once proved against him that he can turn the tide with his explosive batting. In terms of the game, his run-a-ball 34 in the second innings was crucial. His efforts helped India declare their innings with an overall lead of 304.

Ravichandran Ashwin: Ashwin did well in the Centurion despite the South African pitches not getting much help for the spinners. He is likely to be retained as India’s lone spinner. His ability to score important runs down the order also cannot be ignored.

Jasprit Bumrah: Jasprit Bumrah has once again proved why he is considered one of the best fast bowlers in the world right now. He provided India with significant breakthroughs in both innings, and also dismissed South Africa captain Dean Elgar twice.

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Mohammed Shami: Irrespective of the circumstances, Shami always puts in his absolute 100 percent while running on the track. He has been Virat Kohli’s favorite bowler, which makes him an automatic pick in the playing XI.

Mohd Siraj: If there is anyone who can match Virat Kohli in terms of intensity and passion, it is Mohammad Siraj. India would not want to drop a player like Siraj from the playing XI, especially on a fast-paced track.

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