SA captain Elgar opts to bat first; Jadeja, Mukesh in India XI

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | January 03, 2024 IST

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Cape Town, Jan 3: South Africa captain Dean Elgar won the toss in his farewell Test match and elected to bat against India in the second and final Test of the series at Newlands Cricket Ground here on Wednesday.

India have made two changes from the playing eleven they fielded in the first Test, where they lost by an innings and 32 runs at SuperSport Park in Centurion inside three days. Left-arm spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja replaces veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, while pacer Mukesh Kumar comes in for seam-bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur.

Jadeja had not played the first Test due to an upper back spasm and his return gives India more of batting depth, apart from left-arm spin bowling to complement the right-arm fast-bowling quarter. India needs to win the Cape Town Test to avoid a 2-0 series sweep.

Captain Rohit Sharma said he would have batted first as well if he had won the toss. “Looks a good pitch. We understand the challenge of batting first on that pitch, but nevertheless, there will be enough in the pitch for the seamers, so hopefully we'll cash in on it.”

“Important to forget what's happened in the past. We understand the importance of getting runs on the board, and getting 20 wickets. Didn't happen in the first game but we're upbeat about what we can achieve here.”

In Elgar’s last Test match, South Africa have handed a debut to batter Tristan Stubbs, as Temba Bavuma is ruled out due to a left hamstring injury. The hosts’ have also brought in pacer Lungi Ngidi, and left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj in place of injured fast-bowler Gerald Coetzee and Keegan Petersen respectively.

Maharaj is also marking his 50th Test match appearance for South Africa. “Pitch looks interesting. We're in a great position. Can't win a two-match series if you don't win the first - we've crossed that hurdle. Scoreboard starts on nought. We all know that. Starting well is going to be key against this Indian side,” said Elgar.

Playing XIs

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna and Mukesh Kumar

South Africa: Dean Elgar (captain), Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Tristan Stubbs, David Bedingham, Kyle Verreynne (wicket-keeper), Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Nandre Burger and Lungi Ngidi. (IANS)

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