A positive reinforcement clouds the Virat Kohli-led Team India as the Men in Blue showcase a different kind of 'swag' while practising ahead of the second Test at Centurion. Despite being hammered by South Africa in the first Test at Newlands, Cape Town by 72 runs, the Indian cricket team has shown no signs of regret and aim to level the three-match Test series at the Centurion.
The Indian cricket team's Instagram account saw a few pictures in which the players had a different swagger about their approach while training at the net sessions. "Some swag post practice for these lads #TeamIndia #SAvIND," read one post.
Pacers Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma were present at the nets alongside spinner R Ashwin, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and batsmen KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan.
"The Indian players warm-up before their net session. #TeamIndia up and running ahead of the 2nd Test here in Centurion #SAvIND"
The bowlers performed well enough to collect 20 wickets in the first Test but it was the batsmen who weren't able to deliver. South Africa wrapped up the match on the fourth day when they bundled India out for 135 in a chase of 208 runs.
The Indian batsmen need to perform in the penultimate Test at the Centurion because if they don't, the hosts will run away with the three-match Test series. It's crucial for the openers to make quick technical adjustments in South African conditions as a bright start can motivate the middle-order batsmen to have a crack at their natural game.
R Ashwin's experience should be put to use as he was only able to collect two wickets in both innings of the Newlands Test. Jasprit Bumrah's spell did rattle the Proteas batsmen and was responsible for removing swashbuckler AB de Villiers twice when he was looking dangerous. Bumrah added four wickets to his debut Test match tally.
The 2nd Test might feature a few changes as many former cricketers and pundits have advised to bring on the experienced players who know and understand the South Africa wickets. Centurion is similar to the Newlands wicket, as media reports suggest, and the likes of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav should be bowling their spells. Rahane's inclusion in the playing XI is still uncertain as coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Kohli look to keep Rohit Sharma at the no.5 batting position. KL Rahul might replace Shikhar Dhawan as the opener and will pair along with Murali Vijay as the Tamil Nadu player has played in such conditions before.
A different swagger about the Indian players depicts a varied approach to the second Test where we might get to see some action at the Centurion on January 13.