Ahead of second Test match between India and South Africa, Captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday expressed his concerns over the World Test Champions points distribution system and proposed that points for an away victory should be doubled.
While addressing pre-match press conference, Kohli pointed out the importance of away wins and said that he would have given double the points for an away-Test win as the stakes are higher and situations are tough in foreign conditions.
‘If you would have asked me to make the points table, I would give double the points for an away Test win. That is something I would definitely like to see maybe after the first edition, ‘ Kohli said.
At present, a team gets 120 points for a series clean sweep, irrespective of whether it’s a two-match series or five-match series on home and away basis.
India had defeated South Africa by a big margin of 203 runs in the first match played in Visakhapatnam to take a 1-0 lead in the three test match series and now they will look to win the match and seal the series here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday.
India were superb in all departments and will be especially pleased with how Rohit Sharma marked his foray into Test match opening, with hundreds in each innings, while his co-opener Mayank Agarwal scored a double-ton. Both openers had a big partnership of 317 runs which had laid the foundation for the team to extend their 100 per cent win record in the ICC World Test Championship.
India will once again expect a similar performance from their opening pair in the second match so that they keep a strong grip on the visiting team from the beginning and put pressure on their bowlers.
The Indian team, however, will have to be cautious in the middle order. Captain Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari and wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha will also have to play their part in the middle order.
India’s bowlers were fantastic too and were able to wrap up the game with well over a session to spare on the final day, despite two South African batsmen – Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock scored hundreds in South Africa’s first innings.
R Ashwin took seven wickets in that innings, while Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja polished things off in the last, with nine wickets between them.
On the other hand, this is South Africa’s last chance to save the series. South Africa need to concentrate on their batting in the second match, especially given the way their team’s performance in the second innings, captain Faf du Plessis needs to improve in this area.
South Africa will take heart from their first innings effort to score 431 in the previous Test, but they will expect a lot more accuracy and incisiveness from the bowlers, particularly in the spin department.
The likes of Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada will have a big responsibility to stop the hosts while the batsmen will have to overcome the test of being ahead of Indian bowling.
Pune is the venue of India’s solitary defeat, against Australia in 2017, at home in over six years. There is also a threat of rain through the course of the Test and one can expect good amount of support for the spinners from the pitch. (UNI)