After a disappointing loss in the Boxing Day Test at Centurion, a rejuvenated Team India is now locking horns against South Africa in the 2nd Test at Cape Town. India rang in a handful of changes for the game, with Mukesh Kumar coming in for Shardul Thakur and R Ashwin being replaced by the now-fit Ravindra Jadeja.
The first Test saw the debut of fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, who received his Test cap from vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah. Prasidh had a decent outing, picking up a wicket in the first innings and finishing with figures of 1/93 in his 20 overs. Although India lost the 1st Test, a positive Rohit Sharma was quite upbeat ahead of the 2nd Test. Speaking to the media at the pre-match conference, the Indian captain stressed the importance of backing young and inexperienced players in the team, especially when it comes to the pace attack.
"We all get nervous when you are playing your first game. It's understandable, but I thought, and I'll still back that thought of mine, that he's got good ability to succeed at this level and especially in this format. So it's just about showing faith and trust in everyone and getting the job done from them," Rohit said.
The reflections of Rohit's statements were evident when India announced their playing XI for the second Test. Prasidh retained his spot, a testament to the management's faith in him. Another newcomer, Mukesh Kumar also found a deserving spot, highlighting the depth of quality pace attack that Team India has at their disposal. Following the first Test, another upcoming bowler in Avesh Khan was also added to the squad on the back of his performances in the unofficial Tests against South Africa.
And on Wednesday, it was this pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar and Prasidh Krishna that had the Proteas on the mat in the first session of the 2nd Test. Siraj dismantled the South Africans with his fiery spell of menacing fast bowling, picking 6 wickets in his bag, and he was accompanied by an equally dangerous pair of Bumrah and Mukesh, who bagged two wickets each. Prasidh, on the other hand, complimented perfectly, bowling 4 brilliant overs and giving away just 10 runs as the Proteas were bundled out for just 55.