With a resounding win over South Africa in the first Test of the three-match series, Team India will look to take an unassailable lead in the series by repeating the same performance once again at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma had been the stars for India in the batting department as Agarwal recorded his first double hundred in that Test, while Sharma impressed one and all with his twin centuries in Visakhapatnam. In the bowling department, spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja troubled the visiting batsmen while Mohammed Shami once again proved himself as a second innings specialist in Test match cricket.
As India had performed clinically in the first Test, the team management should not make any alterations to the squad for the upcoming match. Here's how India may line up against South Africa in Pune -
As mentioned ahead, Agarwal and Sharma dominated the South African bowlers in the opening Test. Hence, the two right-handed batsmen have all but cemented their place in the team.
Cheteshwar Pujara played a fine knock in the second innings. However, skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will look to return to form by improving their game in the 2nd Test.
Also, Hanuma Vihari will try to repeat his performance from the Windies Test series and impress the home fans by playing a memorable knock.
Wriddhiman Saha did not commit any errors in the previous game which means he will continue to be a part of the side, while Ashwin and Jadeja will be the two spinners of the team.
Ishant Sharma and Shami had played their roles to perfection in the Visakhapatnam game. Hence, the team management will retain them in the match squad.
Rohit Sharma seemed unstoppable in the opening Test match. It looked like he was desperately waiting to open in the longest format of the game and, now that he has finally received the opportunity, the Mumbai-based batsman will try to prove himself as a worthy candidate for that spot.
Even though the spinners took the majority of wickets at Visakhapatnam, the right-arm fast bowler Shami won the hearts of the fans with a 5-wicket haul in the second innings. Skipper Virat Kohli will expect the same from the pacer when his side locks horns with the Proteas in Pune.
India's predicted playing XI
Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma