India's aggressive skipper, Virat Kohli, will look to continue with the Midas touch, having won the last three Test matches in which he has been at the helm, says a report in The Times of India, adding that South Africa, led by the calm and composed Hashim Amla, will want to forget the sound thrashing they received in Mohali and make this count for their star batsman AB de Villiers, who is set to feature in his 100th Test.
“That might be easier said than done given South Africa's injury woes on the bowling front. The visitors were dealt another body blow on the eve of the match when Dale Steyn failed to clear a fitness test. The 32-year-old spearhead has not recovered enough from a groin injury and joins Vernon Philander on the sidelines, with the latter ruled out of the series with a ligament injury sustained on Thursday,” says the report.
“With the experienced pair out of action, the onus of bowling on a track which is bound to be moist will rest on Morne Morkel and young Kagiso Rabada, who made his Test debut at Mohali last week. While the 20-year-old Rabada has been having an interesting freshman season in India, his ability to perform under pressure will be put to the test,” adds the TOI report.
Meanwhile, according to a report in The Business Standard, AB de Villiers makes it clear beyond any doubt that he is not a sentimental man. For all the significance of Saturday’s milestone, he gives the impression that the only thing that would please him is a South African victory in the second Test. “I don't feel any pressure because it’s my 100th Test; I feel pressure because we’re 1-0 down in the series,” de Villiers said at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.
“It's a huge honour to play my 100th Test and I never in my life thought I’ll be in this kind of position. I feel humbled and privileged. But I just want to have an impact on the game. I want to get us into a position where we can win this Test match and get back into the series.”
A report in India Today says that for India, the overcast conditions in Bangalore could play a crucial role. “Under normal circumstances, Kohli would have happily unleashed his three spinners - R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra - on the South Africans, but this wicket could force him to rethink his strategies. While it is no secret that Ishant Sharma will walk into the team, most likely replacing Umesh Yadav, it is to be seen if Gurkeerat Singh Mann finds a place over Mishra. Even though Mishra has troubled the South Africans, he hasn't been lucky when it has come to the wickets column. And Kohli also raised a few eyebrows when he announced during the pre-match press conference that Mann would soon make his debut. It, however, looks a little premature for Kohli to hand him a debut in this Test,” says the report.
“Also, with J.P. Duminy back in the South Africa squad, the Indian bowlers will definitely have to toil harder as the lefthander is undoubtedly one of the better players of spin bowling in the current squad,” adds the report.