The next stop of the ongoing South Africa tour of India is M.C.A Stadium in Pune where Faf du Plessis‘ men will be looking to shrug off what was a pounding at the hands of the hosts at Vizag. But, despite the 203-run defeat in Visakhapatnam, the South African captain lauded his team’s efforts, often using the term ‘brilliant’ to describe their batting effort in the first innings.
After having been reduced to 3-39, Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, both of whom scored brilliant hundreds and Faf du Plessis, who scored a counter-attacking half-century himself, orchestrated the visitors’ recovery and making sure they post a total in excess of 400.
Scoring 400 was a huge deal for South Africa considering the fact that they managed to cross the 200-run mark only once in seven attempts back in 2015. But those positives aside, it still can’t mask the fact that they were humbled in the last game, and the inability of their troika of spinners to make any sort of impact was at the heart of India declaring their innings on both occasions.
So, will South Africa ditch their three spinners theory and revert back to their traditional strength, bringing back Lungisani Ngidi into the mix? As for India, the only question they have to ask themselves is whether they’ll opt for five bowling options and bring Kuldeep into the mix or will they continue with the 6 batsmen 1 keeper + 4 bowlers template?
But, Will the game happen?
The weather in Pune for the next five days is not so encouraging. The city is facing the unseasonal rains this year and even during the match, there is a possibility of the heavens opening up with thunderstorms. It will be cloudy for the whole day on Thursday and bad light might also come into play later before the third session gets underway. The outfield at the ground is sand-based and the local authorities claim that the match can resume in just 15-20 minutes.
But, what if there is a thunderstorm or torrential downpour? What if there is no play possible and the teams are forced to play a draw? Well! As per the points system of the ICC Test championship, both teams will have to settle with 13 points.
According to the Test Championship point system, in a 3-match Test series, the maximum point one can gain from a Test match is 40. In case of a draw- irrespective of the number of Test matches in a series- one-third of the maximum points (40 in this case) is shared by the two sides. India is currently at the numero-uno spot with three wins in as many games.
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