Elgar wants to retire on a high note – with series victory

Henry

Dean Elgar will be hoping to bring down the curtain on his Test cricket career by leading South Africa to victory in the second and final Test against an Indian side that is likely to make at least two changes.

The visitors’ hopes of a first ever series victory in South Africa were dashed when they lost the first test by an innings and 32 runs last Thursday.

South Africa will be ready for action to ensure a victorious farewell for Elgar.

However, India looks set to step up its bowling attack.

Ravindra Jadeja is expected to return in place of Ravichandran Ashwin, who suffered a back spasm before the start of the first Test.

Jadeja will add depth to India’s batting order which collapsed in Centurion. He is also a very skilled bowler.

India are also likely to make at least one change to the bowlers.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj maintained reasonable control in Centurion but lacked support from Shardul Thakur and newcomer Prasidh Krishna.

Either Mukesh Kumar or Avesh Khan is expected to play at Newlands. Avesh was included in the squad after an impressive performance in India’s one-day series win that preceded the Test matches and he followed it up by taking five wickets for India A against South Africa A last week.

With the exception of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, India’s batsmen did not seem to be up to the task against the South Africans.

Captain Rohit Sharma once again staggered under the local conditions and was sent to the dressing room twice by Kagiso Rabada – for five and zero.

In five Tests in South Africa, Sharma has scored just 128 runs at an average of 12.8; this compared to a test average of 45.45.

Young batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer all looked vulnerable against the fast bowlers.

Conditions at Newlands are unlikely to be favorable for fast bowlers – as was the case in Centurion – but the bowlers can still expect a little help. The batting surface was covered with green grass on Monday, although the surface will be mowed before the game.

In addition to the absence of Bavuma, the hosts will also have to do without the services of fast bowler Gerald Coetzee. Coetzee suffered a pelvis injury in the previous test.

South Africa will also want to create space for spin bowler Keshav Maharaj and will have to decide whether they will choose a specialist batsman in place of Bavuma.

Zubayr Hamza or Tristan Stubbs may come in as batsmen, or it may be decided on five bowlers, with Marco Jansen batting at number seven.

Lungi Ngidi, who was struggling with an ankle injury until recently, is expected to be fit enough for inclusion.

  • Teams:

South Africa: Dean Elgar (c) Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Keegan Petersen, David Bedingham, Tristan Stubbs, Zubayr Hamza, Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper), Marco Jansen, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Nandre Burger.

In the: Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, KS Bharat (wicketkeeper) and Abhimanyu Easwaran.

  • The test starts on Wednesday at 10:30.