India Push For Historic Test Series Win Against South Africa In Jan 2022
India lost the first-ever World Test Championship against New Zealand in 2021 and were disappointed as they have been phenomenal in test cricket for the last few years under the leadership of Virat Kohli.
India finished 2021 on a victorious note after they played great cricket in the first test against South Africa at Centurion. India won the first test in the three-match test series by 113 runs to secure a 1-0 series lead. This was a great win for India and Virat Kohli as it has now put them in a spot to create history and win their first overseas test series in South Africa.
Second Test – Betting Odds
The second test is the New Year’s test which starts on Jan 3 and will end on 7 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. The Proteas will be under a lot of pressure as this is a must-win test for them in order to keep the series alive. On the other hand, India goes in full of confidence as they know even if they lose the second test, they have another opportunity to win the series.
Typically the host in a test match series goes in as the betting favorite as they have the home advantage. However, after South Africa’s poor showing in the first test and the retirement of Quinton de Kock after the first test, the Proteas are huge underdogs.
South Africa have odds of 3/1 to win the first test while the visitors India are the favorites with odds of 10/11. The odds of this match ending in a draw are currently at 12/5. The weather does not look great during the second test as rain is predicted on day 1, day 2, day 4, and day 5.
We do believe that overs will be lost during this test match. However, it is hard to say whether we will get sufficient overs in to get a result. The Wanderers is one of the fastest pitches in South Africa and tends to produce a result unless the weather interferes.
Virat Kohli – In Command
Virat Kohli has faced the media bravely in the lead-up to this test series. There were a lot of rumours concerning how the BCCI removed him from the ODI captaincy and appointed Rohit Sharma, who is currently missing the test series. Kohli has also had to work with new head coach Rahul Dravid for their first test series together as captain and coach.
Kohli has managed to put all of the drama behind him and lead the team to another overseas test victory at Centurion. He did not do great with the bat, scoring 35 and 18, but he looked good at the crease and will be waiting to have another go in the second test.
India did well in the first test because they got their team selection right, even though the selection of A Rahane was questionable. The selectors backed the experienced Rahane over S Iyer, and Rahane made 48 and 20. KL Rahul was the pick of the batters scoring a brilliant 123 that earned him the man of the match award.
However, it was brilliant bowling from the Indians that helped them win the test. M Shami took 5 wickets in the first innings and picked up another 3 in the second innings. All the bowlers chipped in and worked together as a unit, giving India the victory.
India will need to put in another strong performance with both bat and ball in the second test as they will be keen on wrapping up the series in Johannesburg and not leaving things for the final test.
South Africa – Continue To Struggle
While India must get credit for winning the first test, we must also note that this is one of the weakest South African teams to play India in the last two decades. They have many internal problems, selection issues, and players that are out of form. Quinton de Kock was set to miss the final two tests as he was supposed to take a break to be present for the birth of his first child.
De Kock surprised everyone when he announced his retirement from test cricket after the first test. South Africa will have to regroup quickly and bounce back in Johannesburg, but it will not be easy.
Result: We expect India to stick with the same playing XI provided there are no injuries, while the Proteas are likely to make a couple of changes as they need to replace de Kock. We will back India to win the second test provided the weather does not interrupt and force a draw!