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Jan 12, 2018 09:58 PM IST | Source:

Acid test for Virat Kohli’s men as India look to bounce back in second Test

Exhorting his batsmen to deliver in challenging conditions, Kohli expressed hope that they will put in an improved performance.

After a morale-sapping defeat in the first Test, the Indian cricket team will look to forget the dreadful outing at Cape Town and face a dominant Proteas side in the second Test match starting from Saturday at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.

Although India’s bowlers gave a good account of themselves, the batting line-up flattered to deceive once again on a lively track. South African speedsters will once again look to pepper the batsmen with short-pitched deliveries on a pitch which has traditionally helped seamers.

South African skipper Faf du Plessis, who will be playing on his home ground, however expressed his surprise at the presence of brown grass on the pitch in the pre-match press conference.

"It looks browner than I thought it would be. What I got from the groundsman was that it was burnt from the heat. Last week was very hot," he said.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli on the other hand is not expecting any favours from the pitch. Exhorting his batsmen to deliver in challenging conditions, he expressed hope that they will put in an improved performance.

"There is no need to panic as a batting unit, we have played well for a long time - and we have played well away from home as well. We just need to apply ourselves better,” Kohli said at the press meet.

Kohli said he was delighted with with his bowlers’ performance in the first Test.

"We're very happy with the way the bowlers went about their business. We believe we can get them out twice again,” Kohli said.

India however won’t be taking any solace from its record at this ground, having played only one Test match and losing it by an innings and 25 runs.

South Africa have to make at least one change following a series-ending injury to Dale Steyn while Kohli admitted that there could be a change in India's opening batting combination and it means Shikhar Dhawan's place could be in doubt.

The SuperSport Park pitch has a reputation for being one of the most difficult 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.

Match starts: 13:30 IST

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