India play South Africa in the second ODI of the five match series at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. South Africa lead 1-0 after their first game thumping of India at Durban. India had made a fine comeback in the Test series after losing the first game but one gets the sense that it will be even more difficult for them in the ODIs. While the batting has quality, the absence of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, apart from the fact that the likes of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman are not a part either. South Africa went into the game with six frontline batsmen only and yet, managed to get to 289 in the first game. There is no reason to believe why they will change their tactics on a more docile pitch at the Wanderers and given the Indian bowling attack, should go in as favourites.
In the first game, the Indian openers failed to fire which left the side with no chance in their chase. Murali Vijay will be lucky to get another chance as the side may look to have Virat Kohli open the innings with Sachin Tendulkar. This will also allow Yusuf Pathan to get into the playing eleven and he will look to plunder some runs down the order. The flip to that is that Kohli has established himself as a good number three batsman and to expect Pathan to immediately come and start firing all cylinders will be foolhardy. A difficult decision to make for the Indians.
South Africa, on the other hand, may make only one change – bringing in a spinner in place of a fast bowler for a pitch that should have something for the slower bowlers. The most likely swap would be Imran Tahir for Wayne Parnell, which should make it interesting given the hype surrounding the Pakistani-born Tahir. The batting order should remain the same for South Africa but they will hope that at least one of those at the top of the innings go on to get a big one. There were three half-centurions in the previous game, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy, but none of them went on to get to play a Jacques Kallis-like innings.
India (possible): 1 Sachin Tendulkar, 2 M Vijay, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Munaf Patel, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Ashish Nehra
South Africa (possible): 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Colin Ingram, 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Johan Botha, 8 Dale Steyn, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 and 11 Any two from Wayne Parnell, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, and Faf du Plessis might get a go.
Match Timings: Jan 15, 2010 (14:30 local | 12:30 GMT | 18:00 IST)
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