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Team India’s Setback in South Africa
Team India’s hope of conquering their final frontier was shattered last week after the Rohit Sharma-led visiting side incurred a humiliating defeat by an innings and 32 runs in the opening game of the two-match contest in Centurion.
With two days left for the final tie of the contest in Cape Town, a few members of the Indian team were spotted at the training nets in Newlands on New Year’s Day. Albeit it was an optional net session, former India captain Virat Kohli was spotted going full throttle.
India’s Struggle in South Africa
India have never won a Test series in South Africa in 31 years, dating back to their maiden tour in 1992. The 2023/24 contest was considered India’s best chance to end their unwanted streak. However, an inspiring show from Kagiso Rabada and debutant Nandre Burger saw India being folded for just 245 and 131 across two innings as the match ended in just three days.
Training Sessions and Preparation
Having gained an extra day, India held an optional training session in Centurion on December 30. Although Kohli was not part of the nets session in SuperSport Park two days back, he led the proceedings in Newlands on January 1 with head coach Rahul Dravid overseeing the preparations in India’s centre-wicket practice.
In a video shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, by PTI news agency journalist Kushan Sarkar, Kohli was spotted batting aggressively in the nets, where he even hit off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for a massive six. The veteran batter was also seen facing a local net bowler, a left-arm pacer, probably to prepare himself against Marco Jansen.
India are likely to have another training session on January 2 in Cape Town, and all the players are expected to be available.
India’s Track Record in Cape Town
India do not have a favourable record in Cape Town, having never won a Test match at that venue. In six appearances across the last 20 years, India have lost four times while two others – 1993 and 2011 – ended in a draw.
It’s important for Team India to overcome their history in Cape Town if they want to win the series in South Africa for the first time.
With the upcoming training session, they have the opportunity to work on their strategy and improve their performance in the second test match.
The Indian team’s training and preparation for the second test match in South Africa are crucial as they seek to overcome their historical challenges and secure a series victory. With the focus and determination shown by players like Virat Kohli in the practice sessions, they are poised to bounce back and make a strong statement in the upcoming match.