South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban December 25, 2013

All to play for after Jo'burg cracker

125

Match facts

December 26- December 30, 2013
Start time 1000 local (0800GMT)

Big Picture

Test match cricket probably does not get tougher or tenser than the Wanderers last week. It also doesn't get more tight. After five days of one of the best quality matches in recent times, there was no winner which has increased what's at stake in this Boxing Day Test.

For South Africa, that grew even more when Jacques Kallis announced the Durban match would be his last. South Africa will want to give him a send-off that includes a series win but will also have on eye on important points on the ICC rankings and intangible ones the teams need to prove to themselves and their fans.

India have already done the last of those. Their batsmen performed beyond expectation and showed their ability to adjust to conditions that are regarded as some of the toughest in the world. Their bowlers had the measure of their opposition for the majority of the first Test. Having pushed the No. 1 ranked team to the edge, India will see no reason why they can't tip them over, especially given the venue of the second Test.

Durban is where India beat South Africa the last time they were here. Graeme Smith's men have not won any of the last four matches they have played at Kingsmead, which gives them all the more reason to push for one here. They are a proud and proven team, who have claimed victories all over the cricketing world and now need to get an important one on their own turf and will take heart from their record to do that.

South Africa have not lost a series in almost five years. Their last defeat came in February 2009 against Australia. Since then, they have played 13 series, won seven and drawn six. Of those, four of the shared spoils came at home. Being the top-ranked team is important to them and this series will play a crucial role in staying there.

India's next assignment is against New Zealand while South Africa take on third placed Australia at home so the outcome of this match could be crucial for the rankings over the next few months.

Form guide

(last five completed games most recent first)
South Africa DWLWW
India DWWWW

In the spotlight

It was always coming but it arrived unexpectedly soon. Jacques Kallis will play his last Test in Durban. After 18 years as a Test allrounder, Kallis has decided to reserve the time he has left for limited-overs cricket only with an eye on the 2015 World Cup. That doesn't mean he won't want to go out with a bang. After last scoring a century more than a year ago, Kallis has the perfect stage to do it here.

Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander were, according to Graeme Smith, the two men who made the decision to play for a draw in Johannesburg because they wanted to leave the open the possibility of winning the series in Durban. Much of the burden of doing that will fall on them. After going wicketless in the second innings at the Wanderers, Steyn will be looking forward to the possibility of swing in the air at Kingsmead while Philander, who has not played a Test at this ground will want to show his style of bowling can be as successful in these conditions as they are anywhere.

Having recently become the fastest Indian bowler to 100 Test wickets, R Ashwin may not be used to playing a bit-part role but that's what he had to do at the Wanderers. Ashwin bowled only six overs in the first wickets and although his load was six times more in the second, he went wicket-less. That should change in Durban. With spin certain to play a role, Ashwin should have the opportunity to come into his own in the latter stages of the match. His contributions with the bat on what could be a tricky surface will also be needed.

Team news

Morne Morkel's quick recovery from his ankle sprain means South Africa may not have to choose any replacement seamer and can stick to the same pace attack. Should something go wrong for Morkel, one of Rory Kleinveldt or Kyle Abbott will take his place. They seem certain to make a change in the spin department with Robin Peterson likely to step in for Imran Tahir.

South Africa: (likely) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 JP Duminy 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir/Robin Peterson

After the way their batting line-up stood up at the Wanderers, India do not have any need to make changes. They may ponder playing a second specialist spinner with Ravindra Jadeja a possibility, but will then have to leave out a batsman. Their pacemen showed what they are capable of in Johannesburg and unless one of them is carrying legs which are too tired to carry on, they should field the same trio in that department.

India: (likely) 1 M Vijay, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Ajinkya Rahane, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Mohammed Shami

Pitch and conditions

Durban is the South Africa's most Indian city - in terms of weather and demographics - and the pitch may end up reflecting that. The surface is expected to be slower than usual and should take turn as the match enters the final two days. Despite Durban gaining a reputation for washouts, the first three days are forecast to be sunny and hot. Rain is scheduled for all of Sunday, with the final day cloudy and cooler.

Stats and trivia

  • South Africa's record at Kingsmead reads like this: played 39, won 13, lost 13, drawn 13.
  • India have only won two Tests in South Africa before this tour. The first was in Johannesburg and the second in Durban - both of which were the venues of this series.
  • Jacques Kallis will play his last Test at Kingsmead. He has four hundreds at the venue, which come consecutively between 2002 and 2006.

Quotes

"That workload will be in their legs somewhere in the Test match, especially if we can get a good partnership somewhere in their line-up. The more confident we've got, the less the toss is a worry for us."
India's bowlers toiled for 136 overs three days ago but Graeme Smith will try not to let that sway his decision too much, if he wins the toss.

"We gained a lot of confidence and there a lot of positives for us. We batted really well. We bowled really well. So if we can repeat the same thing then we have a very good chance of winning this test match."

Chesteshwar Pujara think India gained more momentum from the Johannesburg draw than the hosts and expects them to turn that into victory in Durban

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • akd_moves on December 26, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Ojha is always a better option than Jadeja when it comes to specialists. Should India think of changing the combination, then they should try to bring in Ojha. This is highly unlikely though with the fast bowlers doing well, with Ishant being the surprise package. The opening pair should take more responsibility and also the lower middle order with very judicious shot selection. Even if Morkel does play, he may not be at his 100% as there will be the fear of spraining that ankle again in the back of his mind! I look forward to the duels of Zak and Smith, and Steyn and Kohli. Of course all the mind games too! It is even stevens to start with, although India perhaps has a bit of psychological advantage.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    maruthudelft , stupid comments an ashwin..He is no.1 all rounder in test cricket. . hard decision taken by Dhoni because jadeja test bating avg.less than ashwin. ashwin having 40+ avg. in test who coming down no.8..don't under estimate. .

  • Johnny_129 on December 26, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    I have always said that regardless of who is selected to play for India, they should perform for the team and fans should leave their wrangling aside and get behind the team 100%. However, the Jadeja for Ashwin switch has left me really annoyed and dumb-founded. It is a very simplistic view - Ashwin was ineffective in the last test so replace him with Jadeja!! No, no, no - India has ensured that they have no chance of victory even before the match begins. India needed to strengthened their bowling as the bowlers will be worn out - There is no Sehwag or SRT who can give the bowlers some rest. Jadeja should have been brought in in place of Rohit, not Ashwin!

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    Umesh Yadav must be feeling unlucky. He wasn't in onedayers as the he was preserved for tests. Preserved to be on the reserve?

  • black_bird on December 26, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    can't remember when was the last time south africa defeated india. poor africans will be defeated badly. there will be no 4th innings.

  • MaruthuDelft on December 26, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Justice Done. A stupid player like Ashwin should never be allowed to play test cricket. He is so stupid that he doesn't understand a coiled body is required to impart spin on the ball; are these the calibre of people Indian Engineering colleges produce?

  • Johnny_129 on December 26, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    The retirement of the great Kallis has come at the worst time for India! Kallis will be determined - SA will be determined even more so than before. India should also seek the motivation to make Kallis's swansong a memorable one!

  • venky91 on December 26, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Leaving Ashwin out. . . . Baffling

  • Sir_Ivor on December 26, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    I think Bladerunner should be giving us some news about the young batsman Rambukewelle who after trying to open the aircraft door during a flight that he was on, after having five too many,batted quite well in one of the tournaments. Sri Lanka seems to be in a bad way in their current series against Pakistan and he could have been quite useful because he is a good bowler also.Blade runner should also realise that India is playing the No 1 side and so bowling them out is not easy. South Africa at home or away is not like one of the associate teams. They are champions and if India has held their own they should be applauded. Frustration and envy have no place in a writer's mind. Whether he is a comment maker or a journalist. Name or Pseudonym.

  • AjayDevan on December 26, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    If Vijay and Ashwin needs to be retained then below 11 is a better team

    M Vijay, RG Sharma, AT Rayudu, WP Saha†, RA Jadeja, MS Dhoni*†, R Ashwin, B Kumar, PP Ojha, I Sharma, UT Yadav

  • akd_moves on December 26, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Ojha is always a better option than Jadeja when it comes to specialists. Should India think of changing the combination, then they should try to bring in Ojha. This is highly unlikely though with the fast bowlers doing well, with Ishant being the surprise package. The opening pair should take more responsibility and also the lower middle order with very judicious shot selection. Even if Morkel does play, he may not be at his 100% as there will be the fear of spraining that ankle again in the back of his mind! I look forward to the duels of Zak and Smith, and Steyn and Kohli. Of course all the mind games too! It is even stevens to start with, although India perhaps has a bit of psychological advantage.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    maruthudelft , stupid comments an ashwin..He is no.1 all rounder in test cricket. . hard decision taken by Dhoni because jadeja test bating avg.less than ashwin. ashwin having 40+ avg. in test who coming down no.8..don't under estimate. .

  • Johnny_129 on December 26, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    I have always said that regardless of who is selected to play for India, they should perform for the team and fans should leave their wrangling aside and get behind the team 100%. However, the Jadeja for Ashwin switch has left me really annoyed and dumb-founded. It is a very simplistic view - Ashwin was ineffective in the last test so replace him with Jadeja!! No, no, no - India has ensured that they have no chance of victory even before the match begins. India needed to strengthened their bowling as the bowlers will be worn out - There is no Sehwag or SRT who can give the bowlers some rest. Jadeja should have been brought in in place of Rohit, not Ashwin!

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    Umesh Yadav must be feeling unlucky. He wasn't in onedayers as the he was preserved for tests. Preserved to be on the reserve?

  • black_bird on December 26, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    can't remember when was the last time south africa defeated india. poor africans will be defeated badly. there will be no 4th innings.

  • MaruthuDelft on December 26, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Justice Done. A stupid player like Ashwin should never be allowed to play test cricket. He is so stupid that he doesn't understand a coiled body is required to impart spin on the ball; are these the calibre of people Indian Engineering colleges produce?

  • Johnny_129 on December 26, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    The retirement of the great Kallis has come at the worst time for India! Kallis will be determined - SA will be determined even more so than before. India should also seek the motivation to make Kallis's swansong a memorable one!

  • venky91 on December 26, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Leaving Ashwin out. . . . Baffling

  • Sir_Ivor on December 26, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    I think Bladerunner should be giving us some news about the young batsman Rambukewelle who after trying to open the aircraft door during a flight that he was on, after having five too many,batted quite well in one of the tournaments. Sri Lanka seems to be in a bad way in their current series against Pakistan and he could have been quite useful because he is a good bowler also.Blade runner should also realise that India is playing the No 1 side and so bowling them out is not easy. South Africa at home or away is not like one of the associate teams. They are champions and if India has held their own they should be applauded. Frustration and envy have no place in a writer's mind. Whether he is a comment maker or a journalist. Name or Pseudonym.

  • AjayDevan on December 26, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    If Vijay and Ashwin needs to be retained then below 11 is a better team

    M Vijay, RG Sharma, AT Rayudu, WP Saha†, RA Jadeja, MS Dhoni*†, R Ashwin, B Kumar, PP Ojha, I Sharma, UT Yadav

  • Ibanezfan on December 26, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Only one change required, Jadeja for Rohit. I hope Dhoni brings Jadeja into the team. This match is a decider so drop Rohit. Rahane can replace Rohit in the batting. He scored very important runs in the first innings in Jo'burg (which proved critical to that slender lead) and is a far better fielder. If he fails, well, that's still no worse than Rohit anyway. Keeping in mind the help spinners get in Durban, Ashwin and Jadeja operating together can restrict the Saffers. Also, both are capable of contributing with the bat, something Ojha cannot yet do. Hoping for another fantastic test match.

  • SAM_1 on December 26, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    Playing Eleven: 1) M.Vijay 2) Sir Jadeja 3) Pujara 4) Kohli 5) Rahane 6) Rohit 7) Dhoni 8) Ashwin 9)Ishant 10) Zaheer 11) Shami

  • on December 26, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    south Africa should easily win this. India are playing poor at the moment .

  • SAM_1 on December 26, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Jadeja should be tried as the track is possible spin track, since its not feasible to replace ashwin with jadeja the only option that can be thought of replacing dhawan with jadeja as a opener atleast he will score more run than a vulnerable dhawan with short ball on leg stump and can also be a handy bowler.

  • on December 26, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Yes. I think what you said is right. Shikhar Dhawan is useless in test matches. As you said he could be replaced by Rayudu or Saha.

  • vwazalwar on December 26, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    It will be gud if rahane replaced by ojha, this will give india spin option in middle time to restrict the run flow n ojha is capable of breaking partnerships... give him a chance ...

  • jango_moh on December 26, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    @Blade-Runnar.... exactly my point... nobody talks about that part of it at all.... the "world's best" bowling cudnt take wickets for a major part of the 2nd innings until india started going for it.... and suddenly everyone expects the so called "weak" indian bowling to take 20 wickets on the same pitch....

  • on December 26, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    If we assess the last test match where india had opted an defensive act in the last session, although they were in advantage throughout the first 4 days, it was the exclusion of ravindra jadeja. Even MSD has announced the importance of the balance he provides in the playing eleven. Even everyone know his capability with the bat. If rohit sharma can be given so many chances for the sake the talent he possess what we can say now he has been delivering now. So we can't say jadeja is less talented with the bat than rohit who has scored 3 triple hundreds in domestic circuit.

  • on December 26, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    In this Match, Shikhar Dhawan might be replaced by either Wridhimman Saha / Ambati Rayudu due to his poor performance. He did not shine in the past matches well. Also in the Last Test in both the Innings, he didn't shine well. Hence he could be replaced with the replaced with the above said two Batsman. Moreover both of the Batsman are Wicket keeper Batsman. So Dhoni can also bowl a few overs to get breakthrough. Regarding Ashwin, his spin is not going much effective& he can either replaced either by Jadeja or Ojha. . Only based on the Pitch it can be predicted. So Ojha / Jadeja will be the better Option as both of them are Left Arm Orthodox Spinners.

  • GRVJPR on December 26, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Bring jadea in at whatever cost. People say he is not a big spinner but he always pick wickets. He is deadly accurate. He will always give more than 100% whether bowling or fielding. At the position he bats not much runs can be assumed, but he will try and score as much as he can. I honestly feel that when he comes to bat in India the turning balls from rough troubles him. In SA he might enjoy balls coming high up on bat and not turning early on. Has scored 3 triple hundreds. Now don't say that those were in Inida domestic cricket. Same was said about PUJARA but the way he is batting it shows that triple centuries were worth their value.

  • shabbir on December 26, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    In the first test if Ojah was there instead of Ashwin, things would have been different. Ashwin didn't trouble SA at all in wanderers where as Duminy was much ore effective than Ashwin

  • ashy2win on December 26, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Shikhar Dhawan can be replaced by either by Wridhimman Saha / Rayudu. As his form is not so good in the Test as well as ODI in the last few matches. Even in the last Test with South Africa Dhawan is not good in both the Innings. So Rahane can open the Innings with Vijay. Saha & Rayudu both are Wicket keeper Batsman. If any of them came into the side, Dhoni can also think of bowling a few overs.

  • on December 26, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    Why no Ojha? He is in good form after taking 10 wickets on the last test match against West Indies. Replace Aswin with mighty Ojha/Jadeja... Jadeja will threaten with both bat and ball...... Ojha will threaten a lot with ball but not with bat.... I will give an ideal Indian team...I don't think Dhawan could do to much good but he is dangerous. I will give the best team according to my view... 1.Shikhar Dhawan 2.Murali Vijay 3.Cheteshwar Pujara 4.Virat Kohli 5.Ajinkya Rahane 6.Rohit Sharma 7.MS Dhoni 8.Ravindra Jadeja 9.Pragyan Ojha 10.Ishant Sharma 11.Mohammed Shami........ I don't hope a lot on Zaheer Khan. But if MSD thinks he is useful than anyone, then that bowler could be replaced with Zaheer...... Anyway, no need for Aswin.

  • on December 26, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    I think Dhoni will go with the following team- Dhawan Vijay Pujara Kohli Rohit Jadeja Dhoni Aswin Zaheer Ishant Shami by having two spinners he may operate them in tandem to maintain the over rate and save fast bowlers from fatigue which was quite evident in the second innings at Johansbg.Having Jadeja will give him some batting option as well,although he may not be as good as Rahane as a batsman.

  • SaifS on December 26, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    Jadeja must come in for Ashwin, as Ashwin is ineffective, lazy and butter fingered.

  • on December 26, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    I think india will win this match because indian team confidence is very high from last match.

  • on December 26, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    i think people who are asking to drop VIjay really lack cricketing knowledge.They are forgetting test cricket isnt just about scoring runs its about spending time on pitch,tiring the bowlers,softening the new ball,shielding the following batsman and Vijay has done all this in the last match.Kohli and pujara know how crucial Vijay's knocks were in their success.Dhoni acknowledged this in the presentation.Shame we dont realize that.

  • bhushanB on December 26, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    This team almost won.... the only reason they fell short is because the lone spinner went wicketless, even Tahir & Duminy managed a few......

    So there should not be sweeping changes... ideally there should be no changes... but Ashwin was least threatening.. and SA already figured out his variations...

    Replace ashwin with Ojha.. and change nothing else.... unless anyone those pace bowlers are carrying a niggle....

  • pitch_curator on December 26, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    I have a gut feeling that one of the pacers would be dropped and Jadeja will play in his place. This way the batting would also be lengthened. That could be one of the reasons why Jadeja is also bowling seam up in the nets. He might bowl 5 - 6 overs of seam up before lunch in case India bowl first. I have a feeling it would be Ishant who would be dropped as the pitch seems slow and that would not suit his style of bowling. The only other option is to drop Dhawan at the top and have Rahane open but that is unlike Dhoni. A left arm spinner was missed on the 5th day in Jo burg test as most of the SAF batsmen are right handers. From SAF point of view, I am certain Morkel will not play. They are simply indulging in gamesmanship. India should look at videos of Abott bowling. Tahir would be kicked out and Peterson would be in. SAF have always been a very very conservative side and they only look out for a spinner to contain. Win the toss - Bat first and bat big. Go India !!!

  • bhushanB on December 26, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    @MogulRebel Totally agree with you on India's complacency on day 4, when Pujara and Kohli were playing... Ind already celebrated a bit too early.... They just went by history... but they did not realize that history was in the making.. almost....

    The game is not won until the last run is scored, or the last wicket falls... fight till then boys...

  • srinideva on December 26, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    I absolutely love the way Kallis announced his Retirement from Test cricket. Just before the start of the test match." The Great cricketer of this era"- Dravid. Good luck to both teams.

  • ButchiReddy_TimmaReddy on December 26, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    After wonderful draw at Johannesburg both team r looking to win this match and series. Dhoni should take Jadeja in place of Ashwin. Dhavan ll make some runs in this pitch. All the best Team India. Have to win an overseas test without sachin .. *** Go India Go***

  • sgrp on December 26, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    I will think of replacing Murali Vijay with Ravindra Jadeja. I will ask Rohit Sharma to open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan. They have been opening in the ODI's so there should not be any problems there. Jadeja will bring in the left hand batting and orthodox spin in play.

  • Yousafahmed11 on December 26, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    funny! nobody talking about weakness of great Steyn to pick wickets on day 4. They assume few bowlers who are not within top10 will pick all wickets on much flatter pitch on day 5!

  • on December 26, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Jadeja is not capable enough to replace a batsman, that too in SA conditions. But, he can definitely replace Ashwin. It seems Ash is of no use outside India. Looked severely inept in the last match too barring a few occasional deliveries.

  • on December 26, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    hellooo...give ohja a chance..im sure that he wil brk that partnership...no need of rahane in team..take jadeja & ojha inplace of ashwin...they 2 wil bcum threatening in durban..continue the remaining squad as same..

  • on December 26, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    Just heard in the news that they have shaven the pitch completely. Wow those days of scaring Indian team by giving green tracks seems to be back-firing and now they are back level play field.

    If they give a brown strip to India...Watch out for Shami's reverse swing.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 26, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    I have no doubt that Rahane will be made the sacrificial lamb to bring in Jadeja or Ojha showing the spinning track excuse to retain Ashwin. Just watch. If the track indeed has some assistance for spin, then Ashwin can be a handful. So, I wouldn't complain. But poor Rahane will have to carry drinks, yet again.

  • heathrf1974 on December 26, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    As an Aussie, really looking forward to this game. India have done very well.

  • Nitintnd on December 26, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    @MogulRebel Be positive about Indian show rather than maoning Why India did not win.

    Before first test people would have laughed if someone would have predicted India to have upper hand for full four days, Kohli making (nearly) two centuries/inning with Pujara firing guns and Indian pacers making life difficult and Styen negotiated with mindfulness.

    Please understand India was facing ICC # 1 & #2 bowler + ICC #1 Batsman + ICC # 1 Team.

    Who can do this with SA in their den? With current form Australia only.

  • Htc-Baseball on December 26, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    @Nampally: you used to mak sensible comments dude..may be ,not anymore. drop rahane or Vijay. ha ha ha.. ur out of it.

  • on December 26, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    People who are talking about changing India's opening pair is a complete rubbish. Shikhar needs to chip in with runs because leaving is not his game, he has to counter attack...on the other side we have to give credit to Vijay because he helped the middle order by leaving the ball so well. They may not score big runs, but this opening pair is one of the best we have recently got, because they leave well which helps immensely in overseas condition for the middle order to capitalize on.

  • AjayDevan on December 26, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    If 'Thala' Dhoni really want a Series Win, then he must select the below 11 players boldly,

    1.Dhawan 2.Rahane

    3.Pujara 4.Kohli 5.Rohit Sharama 6.Dhoni

    7.Jadeja 8.Buvanesh Kumar

    9.Zaheer 10.Ishant Sharma 11.M Sami

    Give Rahane a chance at top, surely he will be the next Gavaskar!.

    Lets boldy drop Ashwin and bring back Jadeja (He will be a economic wicket taking bowler and more usefull batsman than Ashwin)

    All the best Team India.

  • on December 26, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    What truly saved India the embarrassment at Jo'berg was Dhoni's slow over rate on day-2. In all practical senses, SA needed just 2-3 more overs to finish the game, which they would have gotten had India not fallen short by 10 overs on day-2! Lucky win for India. Lets hope they take 20 wickets this time! JAI HO!

  • Nitintnd on December 26, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    MSD always very reluctant to change team composition and this being the last match of the series (and of 2013 as well) he will play safe to not to loose.

    Guys dont expect any change except for one where Jadeja might get favor from MSD instead of Rahane bcoz of nature of pitch & final two days forecast predicted ascloudy n rainy.

    Salute to the Kallis for being an excellent ambassador of cricket for RSA. . .

  • cooljack_143 on December 26, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    @MogulRebel so do you expect the team to cry and be gloomy or what.They played well and deserved the rest.Do you know what it takes on players to play continuous 5 day test match???? keeping good atmosphere in the dressing room is key to success in the field.

  • TMSer on December 26, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    In JoBerg, india were complacent, after kohli and pujara show, they assumed the win would come easy and wasted game time laughing and joking on the balcony. Maybe this will teach them that winning test matches isn't a part-time job, it takes 5 days of intensity, taking nothing for granted and fighting to the last. Not being lazily complacent or meekly defeatist either. Durban selection? must be bring in Jadeja for an ill-equipped rohit sharma

  • TMSer on December 26, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    In JoBerg, india were complacent, after kohli and pujara show, they assumed the win would come easy and wasted game time laughing and joking on the balcony. Maybe this will teach them that winning test matches isn't a part-time job, it takes 5 days of intensity, taking nothing for granted and fighting to the last. Not being lazily complacent or meekly defeatist either. Durban selection? must be bring in Jadeja for an ill-equipped rohit sharma

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 26, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    Let us spoil Kallis retirement party. Lets continue our good work to end our series on a high. All the best team India.

  • Venkiviru on December 26, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    Give badrinath a chance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • satishsasikumar on December 26, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    Dhoni should consider including Ravindra Jadeja at the expense of Rohit or Rahane as he would have the luxury of a spinner who would be effective in the later part of the 2nd Test match at Durban. Jadeja might be effective with the bat as well unlike Rohit, who hasn't shown any mettle yet in South Africa.

  • on December 26, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    bring jadeja instead of aswin...aswin's ball not threatened sa at all ..give chance to jadeja..that is the only change india need...

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 26, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    Somebody please tell Dravid to adjust his mic. His voice is distorted in almost all the video discussions. Yes Dravid, get your act right. :-)

  • Nampally on December 26, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    With Durban pitch more spin friendly, Will India think of including 2 spinners + 3 seamers? India can have best of both the worlds by including an rounder like jadeja instead of one specialist batsman. This gives them additional bowler + a batsman who can contribute a few runs. Dhawan & Rohit were a good opening combo for the ODI's. Why not go back to the same combo so that one additional bowler can be added. This is crucial because the tired old legs of 35 year old ZAK could do well in shorter burst of bowling rather than bowling 22 overs/day. Ojha is a specialist bowler who can be equally effective on spin friendly pitches. But going with the same 4 bowlers who nearly lost the first test to SA without additional help is not a sensible option. That is the crucial issue that will decide the Rubber in the 2 Test series. Hopefully Pujara & Kohli will lead the Indian batting again. But it is crucial for other batsmen to do their share as well. Good Luck to both the Teams.

  • kapilesh23 on December 26, 2013, 2:42 GMT

    Its funny people commenting here about team selection. Well I am no cricket expert, whatever team is selected, as an Indian fan I would wish that team to play the same sensible game as they played in the first test. Kallis the great man is retiring, this news sadden me more than Sachin's retirement news. I hope India don't get carried away by that news, and play rash cricket.

  • on December 26, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    Trust Dhoni, he is never quite likely to make sweeping changes. Plus, as seen, they have had, touch wood, very detailed planning. So anybody selected, dropped would be on pure merits. I just pray, it goes, the right way for India touch wood ......pray pray pray .....

  • on December 26, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    Though India played well in their last test, I would still wait to see how they handle this test match ! SA took India lightly last time hoping that it would be a cake walk for them. It's absorb to see fellow indian fans going overboard after one good performance ! I still think the side is under construction and wouldn't mind if the go down. What I need is determination and fight ! Hoping for a good and intriguing game of test cricket !

  • Nampally on December 26, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    If India continues to play with 4 bowlers- 3 seamers + Ashwin - they cannot survive a 5 day test match. Even if the bowlers manage to get SA cheaply in the first innings, the 4 bowlers are too tired to be effective to repeat taking 10 wkts. India has to go with 5 bowlers even if it means dropping either Rahane , Rohit or Vijay. The sooner India realizes it the better it is. In fact India was lucky to eke a draw out of the first Test- thanks to Steyn & Philander. SA may drop Tahir to add another seamer. India will depend heavily on Pujara & Kohli once more. Can Dhawan learn to play in a more disciplined manner or follow Sehwag & Gambhir into oblivion He needs to buckle down & leave those outside the off stump balls well alone. India needs a big opening stand + their pace bowlers have to shine. Yadev's addition will strengthen India's bowling + provide less strain on the 3 pacers. Indian bowling will be totally depleted if one of the pacers is injured. Don't play with Fire, Dhoni!

  • bhushanB on December 26, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    4 pace bowlers wont work for an already tired Indian team attack....It has to be three pacers and a spinner who can try hold up one end and give respite to the pacers, so that they can come fresh for each spell...

    Zaheer was really pushed to the limit bowling 8 overs on a trot, hopefully it did not cause any niggles.

    Play ojha, who is coming back of a 10 wicket test. He has bowled well against ENG, ofcorse in IND. We have already seen Ashwin could do nothing in the first test, what does IND has to lose to play Ojha in the second?

    Rahane should be continued in the team.... if at all someone has to go.. it has to be someone who lost his wicket to a reckless shot in both innings...

  • bhushanB on December 26, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Best move in team's interest.........Get Ojha in place of Ashwin

    Worst thing to happen .... Getting Jadeja in place of Rahane

    Jadeja may be able to inflict those most two crucial run outs, but i seriously doubt if the can score those 47 to get India to 280...without which India would have folded on Day 4.

  • nyc_missile on December 26, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    MSD is such a defensive character that he'd have been shocked to see the young batsmen perform that well.Prior to the series,he would have lowered their ambitions not to go for a win and be satisfied with a draw.The way he talks about the team's prospects and his eternal complaining and whining of lack of options etc is the worst thing to have happened to these budding and otherwise ambitious,aggressive cricketers.Thanks to MSD and his cowardly tactics,they might have gotten in tune with his pathetic defensive mindset.Hope he is kicked out as captain soon otherwise we'll see more drubbings in NZ & Eng.

  • truecric_fan on December 26, 2013, 0:14 GMT

    If wicket offers even a little assistance to spinners, SA is doomed. India go in as favorites, SA team lacks killer instinct.

  • ProdigyA on December 25, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    The entire team is ok, no need to change anything except for may be Jaddu instead of Ashwin. Otherwise rest all is ok. All the talk of changing the opening pair is utter rubbish.

  • Alexk400 on December 25, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    I want kohli to be captain in overseas TEST. Pujara vice captain.

  • on December 25, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    Feel sorry for indian bowling..compare to their batting. If they hsv pakistani sidelines bowler or club bowler they could defeat any one ...

  • Alexk400 on December 25, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    i hope SA listen to me and bring 4 real fast bowlers. NOT Kleinveldt pls. Indians do play well spinners. Not sure robin peterson work. That said if they think they do not have good 4th fast bowler then you have to choose ur best option and go with robin peterson. Anyways SA bring green pitch it will be fun

  • maulikshah17 on December 25, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    Exactly 17 years back (test match started on 26th Dec 1996), India scored 100 and 66 in their two innings on this same ground. If anyone thinks India will have it easy in this test match, they could be in for a surprise.

  • Raheelkhan00 on December 25, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    SA should play more aggresivly if they wana beat india in upcoming test and make india to play on grassy pitch surely indian players are not good in hook and pull shorts similer to pakistani players coz indian batsmen playe their all cricket on spinning and batting wickets

  • Happy_hamster on December 25, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    SA to win by about 200 runs probably.

  • rahulkb on December 25, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    If the pitch is a usual dry track @Durban, then this should be India's XI 1.Vijay 2. Dhawan 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6. Jadeja 7.Dhoni 8.Ashwin 9.Zaheer 10.Ishant/Yadav 11.Shami

    I honestly prefer Ojha over Ashwin as he's a better overseas bowler, but sadly can't have 2 left arm spinners playing. If necessary, rohit and ojha can replace ashwin and jadeja but then rohit needs to take ashwin's role and may be do better (although it's highly unlikely). Can't have rohit over rahane as it'll be a grave injustice to him who did well with bat and in field (his 2 run outs basically gave the draw) but I still feel rahane will sit out due to Rohit's immense, invisible talent that's only seen by the team management, Ravi shastri and occassionally in Indian grounds.

    If its a seaming track, then it should be 1. Vijay 2. Dhawan 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5.Rahane 6. Jadeja 7. Dhoni 8. Zaheer 9. Ishant 10. Yadav (bhuvi is too slow whereas yadav hits mid to high 140s) 11. Shami

  • Zak- on December 25, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    Anyone who thinks Petersen will keep the scoring rate down has not been paying attention - this is the same guy who has the record for the most expensive test over bowled, and is second on the list of most expensive ODI over bowled too. Worst player ever.

  • Mr.149in31 on December 25, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    With all due respect to the Indian team and their most die-hard fans, there's is no way that India can win this game. In fact, it won't even be close. We've all seen this before... SA has a bad start looking off-colour...then on the final test with everyone questioning their credentials, they batter the living daylights out of the opposition and humiliates them within 4 days in the final test (or thereabouts).

    Again, this is not a insult being thrown at this particular opposion...(I'm sure most South African fans quite enjoyed Virat's batting performance) but we've all seen it in England, Australia in Perth and in the UAE. So no amount of good fortune is likely to save Dhoni this time....its just the way it is.

    My two cents.

  • Dayalshabtai on December 25, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    conshdering the weather forcast I would go with 5 bowlers in order to have a chance to get SA out twice in 4 days. would play Umesh as a 4 fast bowler and drop Rohit Sharma also would consider to l replace out of form Ashwin with Jadeja who is much better batsmen as well. GOOD LUCK INDIA ! you can do it !!!!

  • on December 25, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    India should not play with 4 seamers, that move never worked for India as its all about quality of the bowlers not quantity. They should play with 3 fit fast bowlers and Jadeja as spinner. If there is any doubt on Zaheer or Ishant can't last whole test because of fitness, at least one of them should be replaced preferably with Bhuvesh to make the attack fresh and hungry.

  • Srini_Indian on December 25, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    @all who wants so and so to be opening for India: Do you think opening in tests is such an easy job that anybody can fill the role? Opening is a specialist position, even specialists struggle against SA new ball bowlers let alone the makeshift openers. Rahane played well at #6 in 1st test and I would leave him there. Knowing Dhoni, he'll go for 7-4 combination. The only tossup could be between Ojha and Ashwin. I wonder with the right handed batsmen heavy team like SA, Ojha might be a better option. My team would be: Shikhar, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin/Ojha, Ishant, Zaheer, Shami. All the best boys and hope India bats tomorrow.

  • on December 25, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    Africa definitely miss kallis after this match

  • on December 25, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    I think it's a high time for selector to look at rishi dhawan he looks a good bowling all rounder.. I think India ni need to change the playing 11 Cz u just can't judge the player one the basis of one match.. India playing a fantastic cricket.. They just shut there critics

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 25, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    Most likely Rahane is going to be the sacrificial lamb, never mind that Ashwin had nothing to offer in the first test. Slight help for spinners at Durban will be shown as an excuse to retain Ashwin. The fact that Kallis announced his retirement should make the Indians even more determined not to give him a memorable last match, just the way he denied us a series win in the last series. Dhawan should recollect what he did against Australia on his debut - played balls on their merits. He should take it easy and play responsibly. Vijay should take his 30s into 50s. If both openers score a 50 each, with Pujara and Kohli to follow, I don't see SA standing any chance in this match. SA had their best chance at Wanderers. They are supposed to blow us away (scared eyes, scarred minds) and it didn't happen. That's a huge blow. And the fact that they choked at the last hurdle, will be an even bigger blow and their morale must be at an all time low. Perfect time to finish off the formalities.

  • heavy_cav_1066 on December 25, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    south africa shouldn't risk playing morkel unless he's 100% fit.. they have to ask themselves if he can bowl 25 overs in a day and then still run in hard the next morning. i'm inclined to think that robin peterson isn't likely to trouble the indian batsmen much more than tahir did, but atleast he may be able to keep the scoring in check. the batting obviously doesn't need changing.. everyone's pretty much an automatic selection, though duminy needs to get some runs.

  • on December 25, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    I think Indian team management should be careful of pujara, he has already had knee injury once, he is not good athlete by birth. but I always see Him field near covers ..that's too much running for him.... why not try him near slips??? he can be relaxed there..he fields close in positions for spinners also, that means his reflexes must be good, he can be good slip fielder if groomed well, just like laxman..... I can see his struggling in running while fielding always.... he is not a natural athlete to go with it... so I just think he is previous and we can't afford to have more injuries for him.... I think that's why they are not letting him play odis.... just shift among Vijay or Rohit from slips and add pujara there, May be in 2nd or 3rd slip, where he doesn't have to run too much....

  • on December 25, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    if dhoni goes for extra pacer at the cost of rahane,.mind you dhoni will never have my respect.... predicting dhoni's way,.it's the.most likely scenario.... I predict team will be dhawan, Vijay, pujara, virat, Rohit, dhoni. ashwin, bhuvi, shami, ishant, zak

    I would rather play rahane as opener with Vijay, and add in jadeja in place of dhawan and yadhav in place of ashwin....... anyway watch out for kallis, he.showed some great strokes in earlier innings, he will be itching to leave test cricket on high note..... this match should be another cracker.....

  • kalyanbk on December 25, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    India needs to play Ravindra Jadeja instead of Dhawan. Vijay has consistently outlasted Dhawan who seems to be playing loosely. India can open with Rahane or even Ashwin. Rohit can be replaced with Rayudu.

  • Fezz on December 25, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    Should be a cracker of a match considering the conditions. I am a Pakistani fan and instead of watching Pak / SL ODI, I was watching the first test on Sunday, and in the last hour was hoping for the match to be drawn, as neither team deserved to lose that match. Though I must say SA were unlucky with a couple things going against them, specially Morkel injury. Indian bowlers must get credit to bowl their heart out on the last day. GOOD LUCK to both teams for this match.

  • Waves239 on December 25, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    India have to soon sort out the problem of grooming seam bowling all-rounder, the option which makes huge difference on pace and bouncy tracks. Currently with the resources India got, no point in playing with seven specialist batsmen which can afford to pick only 4 bowling options in a test match. One good partnership or one bad day for a bowler results in strenuous workload load on other options. India have to use Ashwin/ Jadeja as all round option which enables team to pick extra seam bowling option, if winning is there main goal.

    My XI: Shikar, Vijay, Pujara, Virat, Rohit, Dhoni, Ashwin/Jadeja, Zaheer, Ishant, Shami, Umesh.

    Looking for the fight again from this young guns and hope for another cracker of a contest. Good luck India!

  • x_lnc on December 25, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    There is no harm in going with two extra bowlers by dropping Dhawan and Rohit from playing eleven for the second test. Out of total 701 runs scored by India, they could able to score paltry 48 runs. The final eleven for second test should be Rahane, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Zaheer, Ishant, Umesh and Shami

  • on December 25, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    I know Dhoni is too stubborn to heed what others have to suggest for dropping Aswin but it does'nt require much wisdom to acknowledge the fact that the proteas are relatively less comfortable playing away spinning deliveries.So either Ojha or Jadeja should be picked ahead of Aswin.

  • on December 25, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    I am worried about the three non-performers from the fist test: Dhawan, Rohit & Ashwin.

    Dhawan: He taking the Veeru-way is my biggest disappointment. Veeru-way is OK for the short formats. Every one is blind (including himself) about his poor show in tests, just because of his great debut century, where he batted with more caution, to get himself re-established in test cricket. Excessive praise seems to have clouded his mindset. Durban is the only SA venue, where probably Ashwin can make an impact. If he fails in Durban too, he HAS TO DEVELOP NEW SKILLS to be effective in SA, NZ. OZ & ENG (of course in bi-lateral series. In multi-lateral tourneys, ICC comes into the picture, and they do not permit 'doctored' pitches, which seems to have become a norm, and a 'proud' move, in bi-laterals.

    Rohit: His old problem of chasing outgoing balls, playing away from the body, and generally a little bit of 'loose' batting has resurfaced.

  • on December 25, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    jadeja in place of rohit its funny he cab score 30 runs once in 10 matches that to against sa bowling its better to replace him in place of aswin ,every one is talking abt his aswins batting what is the use he score 30 plus runs even rayudu can score those 30 runs india should take 2 inside asia n outside asia

  • Ryan_H on December 25, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    I am already disappointed after reading that it will rain all day Sunday. With only 4 days of maximum play, this will ensure the match will be draw assuming neither of the teams play outrageously bad. I can only hope it does not rain at all

  • on December 25, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    india should play with 1. rahane 2. dhawan 3. pujara 4. kohli 5. rohit 6. dhoni 7. jadeja 8. bhubneswar 9. zaheer 10. ishant 11. shami and 12th man ashwin, becoz these players can giver better results

  • on December 25, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    I would prefer Jadeja over Dhawan and like to send him as opener with Vijay ... I think dhawan hasn't got the test match temperament and plays unnecessary shots when the ball is new. Though the jadeja isnt the best batsman, he can bowl some quality overs of spin if pitch is bit helping...Anyway Dhawan will go out single digit then it is better to go with another single digiter with spin option.. :)

  • Ravi_kumar_Kinnera on December 25, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    India has to look for the fast bowling all rounder at No.7 position. BCCI always looks for batsmen or bowler, why they will not think about all rounders. Ashwin and Jadeja are Spin Bowling and Batting all rounders. But India definitely need fast bowling all rounder who can bowl 140 kmp consistently and it has been due from years. There are some good fast bowling all rounders in domestic cricket, why can't BCCI think about grooming them? Rishi Dhawan is perming well in domestic cricket currently and also he has very good statistics in domestic region. He can also bowl 140+ kmp speeds.

  • srikanths on December 25, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    Rohit Sharma continues to be what could be and could have been in terms of performance till date. One look you can make out the difference between a Virat and Pujara as agaisnt a Rohit Sharma. Virat and Pujara play tight , close to the body whereas our Rohit Sharma indulges in extravagance and plays quite away from the body and loosely. Not that he cant change, he has the talent to do do but does he have the mental strength and discipline to do so ? Time alone will tell.

  • I_Love_Cricket_7 on December 25, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    Technically i find Ravindra Jadeja is a better Batsman than Murali vijay [leave alone fielding]also able to add 40 odd runs to the team what Vijay does. The ability to resist the new ball again i find Rahane is not only a better batsman than Vijay also a a better batsman than Rohit & Dhawan. I saw commentators claiming Rohit has a slight edge over Rahane is completely ridiculous & funny because i am not a blind, I watch cricket & a decent fast bowling all-rounder in university levels so i am going to believe in my eyes what i see rather than listening my ears[What you say/analyze].

    Rahane is going to be the next big thing after Virat & Pujhara. Its just the matter of gaining confidence from your experience which is the thing he has to work on.

  • CRIC_FAN94 on December 25, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    @Nav Rattan Singh What is your problem with them? Rohit just played one test match in overseas and you are asking for him to be removed,how much did pujara score in 2010 SA series?He was big utter flop then but now he learned to score. Ashwin is better batsman than jaddu(only in India).But dhawan should work on his technique more.

  • on December 25, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    India doesn't have pace bowling all-rounder, so they may have to play 7,4 combination as we have seen additional batsman (number 6) is always making valuable contributions in past few tests. Since they have to play 4 bowlers, they need to chose their best who can take 20 wickets based on form and fitness. I would prefer Jadeja instead of Ashwin. He can bowl tight line and hold one end in first inning and can be dangerous in 2nd innings, if pitch assists. Rohit can bowl off spinners. Also we have seen SA struggled against left arm spinners in UAE and Durban in the past.

  • CRIC_FAN94 on December 25, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    @palla.avinash Pujara in slips? Have you seen the 2012 India vs England series ,pujara dropped cook under a score of 30 and he went on to make 170 odd runs and eventually we lost the test

  • I_Love_Cricket_7 on December 25, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    I am seeing the indian commentators & think tank's views on Rohits talent. When you have 150 international game under your belt, playing with world class bowlers in IPL & you are not groomed yet. I rate the 200* he made recently is not even equivalent to the 96 by Virat in the last test. With all these bcci platforms, pick any below avg player from pak's batting line up ,can play better than him. most interesting comments on Rohit. 1. talented but a little lack of concentration here. 2. No doubt on his talent but his temperament is under scanner. 3. Getting the good starts but not converting it to big, the kind of player he is, you expect him to bounce back.

    Talented talented talented. Can somebody please explain me what is really a talented player in cricket is?

  • Electric_L0ser_Wacko on December 25, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    Win the toss and bat first.. Hoping for Dhoni's luck to come to rescue again ... if the toss is won - please don't put up a shameful batting display boys... we fans are expecting the same intensity from you.. SA will come hard at us considering this is their Giants last test and steyn been taken for plenty will have a point to prove.. Hoping for a cracker of a contest.. Win or lose - Battle hard.

  • on December 25, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Posted by Manj Dhariwal on (December 25, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

    So funny comment!! Maybe you haven't watched the first test. keep dreaming BTW

  • palla.avinash on December 25, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    India need ravindra jedeja as there are more right hand batsmen in sa team and ashwin is no ajmal to get wickets of right handers out side sub continent but jedeja can do it as he good left arm spinner and remember in australia ashwin got all 3 left handers out but right handers got hundreds.Ashwin need bowl like ajmal to get good right batsmen out side sub continent and slip fielding is vulnerable please remove rohit sharma and kohli from slips and keep jedeja and pujara there they are better slip catchers.play jedeja instead of rahane or vijay if possible as ashwin can bat also.

  • radhegee on December 25, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    My 11 for the match are - 1.Vijay 2.Dhawan 3.Pujara 4.Kohli 5.Rahane 6.Jadeja 7.Dhoni 8.Bhubneswar 9.Ishant 10.Zaheer 11.Shami

  • mahi678 on December 25, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    @Htc-Baseball, i dont know which country you are from. but when rohit plays it looks like another sachin came but when he fails it looks like same old raw rusty rohit- talented yes but result nil. rohit please come up or perish away and never come back.

  • mahi678 on December 25, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    @Premnarain Lalwani, 7-4 batting bowling combination is very imbalanced and puts heavy load on bowlers. please understand - board, captain and fans

  • Vinnni on December 25, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    I think we will get to see a green top tomorrow! With the overcast conditions forecasted for the 4th/5th day,we should go with a single spinner. Jadeja will be a really good option against the right handed middle order of SA and Yadav should come in to give more pace options and also to reduce the number of overs our pacers had to bowl in the last match.Think this might be the team considering the conditions: 1.Vijay 2.Dhawan 3.Pujara 4.Kohli 5.Rahane 6.Jadeja 7.Dhoni 8.Zaheer 9.Shami 10.Sharma 11.Yadav

  • mahi678 on December 25, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    i dare to say jadeja is currently best spinner available in the country. why looking heavens for fast bowling allrounder- spin bowling all rounder will have same effect. if two spinners for the match go with jadeja, ashwin. if gone with one spinner then prefer jadeja. but on the whole five main bowlers needed.

  • I_Love_Cricket_7 on December 25, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Its very hard to pick the best 11 for india. Lets Rahane play as an opener alongside dhawan. my playing 11 is as follows. 1. Dhawan 2. Rahane 3. Pujhara 4.Kohli 5. Rohit 6.Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8.Ashwin 9.Zaheer 10.Ishant 11.Shami

    No need of any holding job in batting. Considering the stats & techniques i belief Murali Vijay is the odd man out. Last chance in overseas to Ashwin,Dhawan, & Rohit. 6 consecutive times they failed to make an impact in this series.

  • mahi678 on December 25, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    go india go but with 5 bowlers not 4. good luck.

  • on December 25, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Gabbar, Ashwin and Rohit Sharma have failed in all the four innings they have played on this tour. Drop all three of them and include Saha, Jadeja and Ojha in their places. Performance should be the only criterion for a place in the playing eleven.

  • Al_Bundy1 on December 25, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    If Dhoni wants to win outside India, he needs to let go of his buddies - Ashwin, Raina and Yuvi. All 3 of them are useless outside India. NO ASHWIN Please for Durban test. Either Ojah or Jadeja will do fine.

  • Srini_Indian on December 25, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    After a cracker of a match in Joburg, the series now ends in Durban. I don't know how the pitch looks but if anything to go by this article, it suits spin. Hopefully, India wins the toss and put around 350 in the board. Batting 1st is crucial for India as the pace bowlers particularly Zak will get an extra day to recover from the 1st test. Common boys, put up fight and make us fans proud.

  • PrasPunter on December 25, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Go SA !! Give Kallis the best possible farewell gift by winning the test and the series !!

  • on December 25, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    south Africa should easily win the second test. Indian batting is weak . and will crumble in the hands of steyn and philander

  • volta on December 25, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    jai ho praveen kumar. hope he is in the team for tommorrow

  • hnlns on December 25, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Kallis' retirement is definitely a body blow for SA. He was more than what SRT was to India. Whoever replaces Kallis, he is going to be stepping into very big shoes to fill. Truly a magnificent all-rounder. As far as Durban pitch news goes, if indeed it is a slowish surface, India might give a miss to Dhawan or Rohit and bring in an additional spinner like Jadeja.

  • Shyamj on December 25, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    IMHO, Morkel will not be fit enough to play. SA will have to pick a replacement. For India, I think they have to recognise that they did not have the bowling to take 10 wickets in the second innings, when the conditions were not as bowler-friendly as the first. IMHO again, I would go with 5 bowlers, with Ashwin as an all-rounder. I thought Ashwin played a huge part in getting the draw. Sure, he didn't get a wicket ... but look at the number of overs he bowled and how few runs he gave. Duminy got two wickets, but they were the result of batting errors than bowling quality. I think, no question, he should be retained. This may be heretical, but I would drop Dhawan to accomodate the fifth bowler. Let Sharma open. He may fail, but the probability of Dhawan failing is equally high. As to the fifth bowler, the decision is more difficult. I'm no expert on the Durban wicket, but from what I've read, I would go with Ojha!

  • srinideva on December 25, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    @ sixesandfours, Ashwin is no 1 all rounder in icc test rankings. But in your dream world its different. Dhoni knows better than any of us.

  • ketaann on December 25, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    All eyes will be on kallis. 1)Batting: can he overtake dravid n ponting in the list of higher run getters. 2)bowling: can he complete 300 wickets. 3)fielding: can he finish with 200 or more catches.

  • yusuf97 on December 25, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    @ Premnarain Lalwani: on a spinners track u are removing the only spinner and bringing in a fast bowler!!! on this pitch jade and ashwin will prove very lethal...

  • widelongon on December 25, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    So, it means toss may prove to be very vital in this match as there may be rain throughout the Sunday that is on the 4th day and the 5th day is predicted to be cloudy and cooler. All these will help the bowlers to a good extent. So the team batting 1st may have a nice advantage here. Hope it would be an even more exciting match than the previous one and being an Indian fan would like to see India winning the match. Had it been any other team than India I would have supported the South Africa. But here Best Of Luck India.

  • on December 25, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    i dont understand what else this INDIAN team needs to do to prove itself!! Haters will keep speaking.. GO TEAM INDIA!! Backing you to win this test:)

  • Htc-Baseball on December 25, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    Jadeja can come in place of walking wicket Rohit Sharma. Jaddu can get some 30 odd runs minimum and can easily rip out tail enders.

  • frozeninusa on December 25, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Forget the rankings. Forget the past. India just need to win this one test. It will be a validation of the talent of this new generation of Indian cricket, and a great stepping stone for the future.

  • on December 25, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    My suggested team for 2nd test:

    1 M Vijay, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Ajinkya Rahane, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Umesh Yadav, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Mohammed Shami

  • sixesandfours on December 25, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Indian management please look into keeping a strong team and give a break for slackers. I am sure India will be benefitted from Left arm spin bowling of Jadeja ahead of Ashwin. Rohit can bowl offspinners if needed. So, Please do not show favor on Ashwin if he hails from BCCI boss's city. Best wishes to Kallis for his all time great allrounder of cricket. Salute to Kallis for his determination. Best Wishes to Shikhar and Pujara's young talent. With Morkel is in, it will be cracker of a Match. India XI should be 1. Shikhar 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rohit 6. Rahane 7. Dhoni 8. Jadeja 9. Zaheer 10. Shami 11. Ishant

  • sixesandfours on December 25, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Indian management please look into keeping a strong team and give a break for slackers. I am sure India will be benefitted from Left arm spin bowling of Jadeja ahead of Ashwin. Rohit can bowl offspinners if needed. So, Please do not show favor on Ashwin if he hails from BCCI boss's city. Best wishes to Kallis for his all time great allrounder of cricket. Salute to Kallis for his determination. Best Wishes to Shikhar and Pujara's young talent. With Morkel is in, it will be cracker of a Match. India XI should be 1. Shikhar 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rohit 6. Rahane 7. Dhoni 8. Jadeja 9. Zaheer 10. Shami 11. Ishant

  • on December 25, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    My suggested team for 2nd test:

    1 M Vijay, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Ajinkya Rahane, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Umesh Yadav, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Mohammed Shami

  • frozeninusa on December 25, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Forget the rankings. Forget the past. India just need to win this one test. It will be a validation of the talent of this new generation of Indian cricket, and a great stepping stone for the future.

  • Htc-Baseball on December 25, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    Jadeja can come in place of walking wicket Rohit Sharma. Jaddu can get some 30 odd runs minimum and can easily rip out tail enders.

  • on December 25, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    i dont understand what else this INDIAN team needs to do to prove itself!! Haters will keep speaking.. GO TEAM INDIA!! Backing you to win this test:)

  • widelongon on December 25, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    So, it means toss may prove to be very vital in this match as there may be rain throughout the Sunday that is on the 4th day and the 5th day is predicted to be cloudy and cooler. All these will help the bowlers to a good extent. So the team batting 1st may have a nice advantage here. Hope it would be an even more exciting match than the previous one and being an Indian fan would like to see India winning the match. Had it been any other team than India I would have supported the South Africa. But here Best Of Luck India.

  • yusuf97 on December 25, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    @ Premnarain Lalwani: on a spinners track u are removing the only spinner and bringing in a fast bowler!!! on this pitch jade and ashwin will prove very lethal...

  • ketaann on December 25, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    All eyes will be on kallis. 1)Batting: can he overtake dravid n ponting in the list of higher run getters. 2)bowling: can he complete 300 wickets. 3)fielding: can he finish with 200 or more catches.

  • srinideva on December 25, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    @ sixesandfours, Ashwin is no 1 all rounder in icc test rankings. But in your dream world its different. Dhoni knows better than any of us.

  • Shyamj on December 25, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    IMHO, Morkel will not be fit enough to play. SA will have to pick a replacement. For India, I think they have to recognise that they did not have the bowling to take 10 wickets in the second innings, when the conditions were not as bowler-friendly as the first. IMHO again, I would go with 5 bowlers, with Ashwin as an all-rounder. I thought Ashwin played a huge part in getting the draw. Sure, he didn't get a wicket ... but look at the number of overs he bowled and how few runs he gave. Duminy got two wickets, but they were the result of batting errors than bowling quality. I think, no question, he should be retained. This may be heretical, but I would drop Dhawan to accomodate the fifth bowler. Let Sharma open. He may fail, but the probability of Dhawan failing is equally high. As to the fifth bowler, the decision is more difficult. I'm no expert on the Durban wicket, but from what I've read, I would go with Ojha!