Murky second innings record to impend South Africa as India dwell over Siraj’s fitness

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safari
03 Jan 2022 | 08:46 PM
authorAnirudh Kasargod

Murky second innings record to impend South Africa as India dwell over Siraj’s fitness

In Tests since 2018, only once in five innings has a team scored over 250 in the second innings at The Wanderers

A loss at their fortress, a key player's – Quinton de Kock – shocking retirement, South Africa have gone through a lot of downs in the past week. Despite that, they have managed to win almost every session in this match. By reducing India to a paltry total of 202, South Africa have given themselves a chance to redeem their loss in the first Test.

However, a lot depends on their batsmen, especially in the absence of de Kock. Mind you, India have managed to bundle out South Africa within 200 in their last four innings at home. This includes the 2018 Johannesburg match where India had scored only 187 in the first innings, still they went on to win the match. Well! Nothing is out of reach for this Indian bowling set-up.

Another failure for Aiden Markram has put extra weight on Dean Elgar to once again bail them out. Despite beating the outside edge numerous times, Elgar has been solidly rooted to the crease with his grit.

Keegan Petersen, still at crease, thanks to a reprieve by Rishabh Pant, has looked good apart from that filthy shot that he edged. In any case, the young batsman in his Test career has had starts where he has looked so good, but has failed to convert those starts. In his short career of six innings, Petersen has never crossed the 20-run mark. In fact, the 39 balls he has faced in this innings are the most for him. Ian Bishop on Twitter (during the first Test), agreed to the fact that he is one of the most eye-pleasing batsmen. He just needs to carry it without throwing away his wicket. Can he make the most of his drop chance? That is what South Africa would be hoping for.




Not a great second innings venue

In Tests since 2018, teams batting first have won four out of the five Tests prior to this match. The main reason behind that has been the difficulty for batters in the second innings at the Wanderers. In Tests since the aforementioned time, batting teams have averaged 21.7 in the second innings. Among venues that have witnessed three-plus matches, the batting average is the second-lowest after Sabina Park, Jamaica (16.7). In five innings prior to this Test, South Africa against Sri Lanka had scored 302 in the second innings, the only score of above 250 and the only instance of a team batting second winning the match. In the remaining four innings team totals read: 183 (2020), 185 (2019), 221 (2018) and 194 (2018).

If we look at the session-wise numbers, as the sessions go by, it gets more and more difficult to bat at the Wanderers on day two. In Tests since 2018, in the first session of day two, batting teams have lost a wicket every 33.2 runs and 62.3 balls. On an average, batting teams have lost 2.6 wickets per session. The trouble for the batsmen comes in the second session. In the aforementioned time, batting teams have lost a wicket every 18.9 runs and 33.6 balls apart and an average of 4.2 wickets have fallen in the second session, the worst second session across the days. On none of the other days, the average in the second session drops to less than 25. To add salt to their injury, in the third session, teams have lost five wickets on an average.

India mull over Siraj’s injury

At the brink of stumps on day one, India were hit by a blow as Mohammed Siraj walked off limping, clutching his right hamstring. Though there is no clarity yet on his return, hamstring injuries aren’t the kind that are curable over a night’s rest, especially for a fast bowler. In this case, India will be hoping for a miracle.

Siraj was the one who troubled Elgar the most with his away swingers. Throughout this series, though he hasn’t dismissed Elgar, he has induced 26.5 percent of false shots from the batsmen, only Shami has induced more from Elgar (28.8%). To emboss more, Siraj is a tremendous threat against left-handers. He has bagged wickets at an average of 20.4 and has a bowling strike rate of 39.9 against left-handed batsmen as compared to 32.9 and 65.5 against right-handed batters.  

As for the weather, there are chances of intermediate showers, especially in the afternoon session.

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South Africa vs IndiaIndia tour of South Africa, 2021/22South AfricaIndiaKeegan PetersenDean ElgarMohammed Siraj

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