Wanderers, Johannesburg: India's fortress away from home
- India never lost a Test match at the Wanderers Stadium
- India played five Tests at the stadium and won two while three matches ended in draws
- A win in Johannesburg Test will ensure India’s maiden Test series victory in South Africa
India are set to face South Africa in the second Test at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg from Monday. Currently leading the series 1-0 with a 113-run victory in Centurion, India will look to seal the three-match Test series in Johannesburg. If Virat Kohli’s team win the Johannesburg Test, India will take a 2-0 lead and clinch their maiden Test series in South Africa with the third Test in Cape Town remaining. By winning the Johannesburg Test, India will become the first Asian side to win a Test series in SENA countries - South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia.
India’s record at the Wanderers has also been wonderful as they have never lost a Test match at this venue. India so far have played five Tests at this venue and won two while three matches ended in draws. South Africa, on the other hand, have a mixed record. They have played 42 Tests at the Wanderers, winning 18 and losing 13 and 11 matches ended in a draw.
India captain Kohli played two Tests at the Wanderers and scored 310 runs at an average of 77.50 with a hundred and two fifties. Kohli, who has been struggling to find his form, will look to bring the curtain down on his lean patch with a solid performance at the Wanderers. Cheteshwar Pujara, who is currently out of form, also has played two Tests at Johannesburg and made 229 runs at 57.25 with a hundred and fifty.
Considering Johannesburg’s sporting wicket, India may bring a change in the pace department with Umesh Yadav finding a place in the team in place of Shardul Thakur. Though Thakur did not do anything wrong to get axed from the second Test, Umesh Yadav could be preferred because of his ability to generate pace and bounce which would potentially unsettle Proteas’ inexperienced batting attack.
The rest of the pace attack will remain the same as Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj have done excellent jobs in the Centurion Test. Ravichandran Ashwin will be the team’s prime spinner.
In the batting department, team management needs to fix a few issues with two top batters Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane out of form.
India could consider Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer to solidify India’s batting prowess against South Africa’s pacers to keep their reputation at the Wanderers unbroken.