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Aubrey Yates
January 14, 2018

There are three candidates - two out-and-out pace specialists in Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi or Chris Morris who has batting skills as well as the ability to bowl at more than 140 kmh.

"It was a reality check in terms of not being able to win a Test match for the country on day five when all things were actually set up for a spinner", Ashwin said after bowling 30 overs for under three an over and three wickets to go with it.

"He (Ishant Sharma) has played 78 (79) Test matches, to play 78 (79) Test matches for India is awesome".

Ashwin said that the pitch was flat and hard work for all the bowlers.

And while he knew that things would be different this time around with groundsman Bryan Bloy asked to look after the fast bowlers, Markram still expects the Centurion wicket to be "less crazy" than what the batters were given at Newlands.

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India captain Virat Kohli made three changes to the side that the lost in the first test in Cape Town last week with Parthiv Patel coming in for Wriddihiman Saha‚ KL Rahul for Shikar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma replacing Bhuvneshwar Kumar. There is a school of thought that a track replicating the one in the first Test could have seen India dropping the spinner altogether.

"Two days from the game, it looked like we are going to play an all-seam attack", revealed Ashwin after helping India restrict South Africa to 269 for six, a score they could have bargained for at the start of the day. India opted for DRS review but there was no edge. Their batsmen can have no excuse here other than scoreboard pressure.

India's heads dropped, and the finger-pointing had begun. Ishant was on by the eighth over. Hardik Pandya (0-20) came on to bowl in the 13th over. Save a last-minute development, KL Rahul (top right) and Parthiv Patel are nearly certain to feature, and the chances of Ajinkya Rahane (far right) look bleak. In the first hour of the Test, India were reduced to asking Pandya to hide the ball well outside off, which he did as ordered.

Instead, the good bounce and lack of lateral movement might just play well for batsmen on both sides. Ashwin struck again when Markram (94), desperately unlucky to miss out on a century, nicked off to the 'keeper Parthiv Patel while brushing pad with his bat.

Ashwin later emphasised that the experience of playing County cricket in England for Worcestershire came to be of great help while bowling on the Centurion track. The course of this Test may be determined by which team takes it chances the best and on day one India let far too many opportunities slip away and were at times a little too casual in the field.

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