Town - Often perceived as only having Test success on their own soil, this
Indian group is determined to show that they are good enough to get results
away from home and, more significantly, in South Africa, England and
their credit, there have been absolutely no issues with the state of the
wickets on their South African tour so far.
From the day they arrived in
South Africa, coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli have said that there
would be no excuses if things did not go their way.
That stance was put to the test
when, in Cape Town, India's batsmen were blown away on a green wicket that did
everything to help the fast bowlers.
Still, though, there were no
Kohli may have been forgiven for
feeling a little better about the wicket in Centurion for the second
Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis
said earlier on Thursday that he had expected more green on the surface, but
Kohli was not having any of it.
He is still expecting a wicket
that is pace-friendly, and after watching his own seamers excel in cape Town,
that is something that he is embracing.
"It looks like a really
lively pitch and exactly what we expected it to be," Kohli said.
"We actually wanted it to be
that way so that both teams are into the contest provided they play some good
"We were pretty happy to see
the wicket and how it behaved in Cape Town ... that gave us many opportunities
to stay in the game and make comebacks when we were put under pressure.
"This pitch will again Test
us to play our best cricket and that is something that we're looking forward
Kohli added that there were still
a number of selection issues that needed resolving before play got underway on
"At this stage everybody is
still in the running and no decisions have been made," he said.
India must win in Pretoria to
keep their hopes of becoming the first Indian side to win a Test series in
South Africa alive.
Play on Saturday starts at 10:00.