BANGALORE Nov 14 India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and, encouraged by the early moisture in the wicket, asked South Africa to bat in the second test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.
“It’s been raining for the last week in Bangalore and the wickets have been under the cover for a long time,” Kohli said at the toss.
“There is moisture that has gone deep inside the surface. We want to make the most of the bowling conditions that we got early on.”
Paceman Ishant Sharma and all-rounder Stuart Binny replaced Umesh Yadav and leg-spinner Amit Mishra from the side that won the first test on Mohali’s turning pitch inside three days.
South Africa went into the match with a depleted pace attack with Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander both out injured.
The visitors also dropped off-spinner Simon Harmer, bringing in a fit-again Morne Morkel, fellow paceman Kyle Abbott and all-rounder JP Duminy for AB de Villiers’ 100th test match.
“He has been an experienced player for us for many years and to have him in the middle order, and with his off-spinners, he is really handy for us,” South Africa captain Hashim Amla said of Duminy’s return.
“It’s a touch-and-go decision really, 50-50, (whether to) bat or bowl,” said Amla.
“It’s quite difficult to bat up front with the new ball but we’d probably have batted first as well.”
India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Stuart Binny, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Stiaan van Zyl, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla (captain), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Dane Vilas, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Greg Stutchbury)