India vs South Africa 2019: 3 things the Proteas need to do to win the second Test at Pune
After being crushed 3-0 in the four-match Test series on their previous tour to India in 2015, South Africa came in with a relatively young and inexperienced outfit this time around. However, they bettered their dismal batting show from 2015 by putting up over 400 runs against India's threatening spin attack in the first innings.
Despite such a courageous effort though, the Proteas couldn't resist for long in the second innings as they succumbed to defeat by 203 runs.
With their loss at Visakhapatnam, they have now failed to register a single Test win on the Indian sub-continent since 2015. In their last eight Tests in Asia, they have lost five games and drawn three.
However, Faf du Plessis and his men would want to put these stats behind and focus on how they can manufacture a quick turnaround to improve their numbers in Asia. The Proteas will first have to win the second Test at the MCA stadium in Pune to keep the three-match series alive.
They will feel emboldened by their first innings efforts at Vizag and would want to carry the positives out of the first Test into the remaining matches. At the same time, the Du Plessis-led team would be aware of their mistakes and the need to rectify them.
Here, we look at three things that South Africa would need to do to win the Pune Test:
#3 Be clear about the batting order
After a heavy loss against India at Visakhapatnam, there have been talks in the visitors' camp regarding the need to shuffle the batting order.
While the South African openers did a decent job in both the innings, it was their fragile middle-order which got exposed on both occasions. The likes of Theunis de Bruyn and Temba Bavuma couldn't survive the Indian attack as they failed to get going in both the innings.
As a result, there has been a debate over whether Faf du Plessis should bat higher up in the batting order.
Despite the twin failure for Bavuma in the first Test, South Africa have invested faith in the youngster who comes in with a reputation of being one of the most technically correct batsmen in the team. Even in the post-match conference after the Vizag match, the South African skipper backed his regular No. 4 to continue for at least one more Test at the same position.
It will be necessary for Du Plessis to make sure that all concerns regarding their batting order are put to rest before his team takes the field in Pune. He must make sure that the batting plans are laid in such a way that they can exploit the conditions with their best batsman in at the requisite phases of the match.
Also read - IND vs SA schedule 2019