South Africa vs India: 2nd Test Match Prediction

The Freedom Series - 2nd Test Match Prediction - South Africa vs India
TournamentThe Freedom Series
Timetable3rd - 7th January 2022 at 13:30 IST
PredictionIndia to win
Odds2.10 (Bet ₹2500 and win ₹5250)
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Odds : 2.07
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The second match of the 3-Test series between South Africa and India for the ‘Freedom Trophy’, currently held by India, starts at The Wanderers Ground, Johannesburg, 3rd January 2020 at 13:30 IST. If this match turns out to be as enthralling as the 1st Test, then cricket fans are in for another treat. India remains on-course to securing a historic maiden Test series win in the Rainbow Nation following a tremendous 1st Test win, in what was practically a 4-day Test since day two was rained out. India have now won five of their last six tests against South Africa. The match will be played behind closed doors due to COVID-19.

Keep reading to find out our cricket match prediction and some of the markets we have our eyes on for online cricket betting.

South Africa Team Preview

The team is in transition after the retirement of senior players. The Proteas will be better for a Test match under their belt, having not played Test cricket since June. However, the first Test exposed their inexperienced batting line-up, and the top order failed to score runs and provide a solid base. Of the top 5 batters only Temba Bavuma and a captain’s innings by opener Dean Elgar in the second innings stand out. Elgar provided some real encouragement that a draw, or an improbable win, were possible, and he will look to build on this form. However, they will again be put to the test against a strong Indian bowling attack on a pitch favouring pace.

While South Africa didn’t bowl particularly poorly in the first Test, they didn't intimidate India's main batters. Although the wicket provided little assistance, more disciplined bowling and attacking the stumps more will be required. The absence of Anrich Nortje for the series is a major blow, but Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi have ably stepped up.

Young debutant left-arm seamer Marco Jansen’s may be retained in the team ahead of the more experienced Duanne Olivier. Quinton de Kock is expected to miss the second Test on paternity leave.

If South Africa can buck the trend and post a big first innings total, they can be in a strong position as they have the bowlers who can take wickets. It’s possible to find some interesting markets at the top cricket betting sites for betting against India.

India Team Preview

The old adage, ‘a winning team picks itself’, could well see an unchanged team take to the field on Monday. Rahul is in top form scoring 123 and 74, and is the first Indian opener to score test 100’s in England, Australia, South Africa, and West Indies.

Cheteshwar Pujara, without a century in three years, is under pressure to retain his place following his poor scores of 0 and 16, dismissed both times to Ngidi.

The fifth batting spot might see a battle between Ajinkya Rahame and Shreyas Iyer, who will be itching to be given the opportunity to gain overseas Test experience. Rahame has been under pressure with mediocre scores in his last six tests before the opening game. However, his 48 and 20 and supportive comments by head coach Rahul Dravid for a player who averages 40+ runs in away conditions should see him retained.

Another batter whose place may be under threat is the experienced Cheteshwar Pujar after his score of 0 in the first innings and modest 20 in the second, and now more than 40 Test innings without a century. However, Johannesburg is a happy place for Pujara where he scored 153 in 2013.

Virat Kohli’s first Test 35 & 18 runs, and the manner of his dismissals, doesn’t show a player on top of his game. The India skipper’s two-year wait and 23 Tests for his 71st Test century continues.

Rishabh Pant passed MS Dhoni to become the fastest Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to reach 1,000 runs in Test cricket. Mohammed Shami’s first Innings five wicket haul, give him his 200th Test wicket.

Toss Prediction

A repeat by India of winning the toss and electing to bat again in overcast conditions might be likely, given the confidence in their top order batters. If South Africa win the toss, given their inexperienced batting top order and stronger bowling balance they may decide to bowl first.

Pitch Conditions

High totals at The Wanderers are often a challenge where conditions tend to favour the pace bowlers. India’s last game here in December 2018 was a low scoring (177, 187, 194, 245). Of the 41 Tests played here 19 have been won by the team batting first, and 10 by the team bowling first. Average 1st innings score is 308. India have won their two Test matches against South Africa here.

The Wanderers Ground, Johannesburg is 20 miles away from the first Test venue (Centurian Park, Pretoria). A continuation of the current warm and unsettled weather is forecast with a chance of interruptions by afternoon thunderstorms, with more settled weather as the Test match goes on.

A soft pitch and moisture will mean scoring runs not easy, though any inconsistent bounce and seam movement will benefit the pacers.

Our Match Prediction

We see the second Test of The Freedom Series being a close contest and the best betting sites for cricket seem to agree. Both sides have strong bowling line-ups. Jasprit Bumrah, rested after the T20 World Cup, and restricted by a twisted ankle to a limited bowling spell in the first innings will be fresh and keen, not least since Johannesburg was where he recorded his best bowling in South Africa (5-54 in 2018) South Africa’s young top order batting line-up will again be tested by the Indian attack.

India’s success in the first Test will give them momentum to secure that first test series win in the Rainbow Nation.

Pace friendly conditions will suit both teams. However, if India’s batsmen are again patient on an expected quick surface and short-pitched bowling they have the potential to set a big first innings total and have the bowlers to take wickets and control the game. We tip India batters to have the upper hand, especially if Pujara or Kohli produce overdue centuries to provide the basis for a decent first innings total to shut out South Africa.

India to win