South Africa v India Second Test Betting: Another stiff challenge for underprepared India

Philander destroyed India
Philander destroyed India
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Ed Hawkins analyses whether the tourists can get back into the series at Centurion from Saturday. It doesn't look good...

"If those odds are not for you we could see some movement in the draw price. Big runs in the first dig bring it down and if India can just hunker down for 400 or more we could get some space for a trade at maybe half the price"

South Africa v India
Saturday 13 January 08:00 GMT
TV: live on Sky Sports

South Africa

South Africa are 1-0 up with two to play having once again proved that Cape Town's Newlands ground is a fortress that can rarely be breached - unless it's a powerful Aussie team invading the ramparts. An undercooked Indian team with a poor record on the road? Not a chance.

Mind you, India got a little too close for comfort at one stage. Just before they began a chase of 208 they didn't look like such chumps, particularly with Dale Steyn ruled out of the match and the series.

Optimism did not last long. India were rolled for 135 with Vernon Philander taking six wickets. In the first-innings Philander had shared six with Kagiso Rabada, strongly suggesting that Steyn - who will surely now call time on his Test career - is not such a big miss.

With the bat South Africa were underwhelming. Their top three - Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla - had matches to forget. They were indebted to first-innings half-centuries from AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis.

With that in mind, and four bowlers being enough, Temba Bavuma could return to strengthen the batting. Or they could plump for an all-rounder like Chris Morris.


India pacer Jasprit Bumrah has said that the team's confidence cannot be dented after "just one match". Good for him. That's the attitude that punters like to hear because there was a lot to like about India's effort with the ball.

Alongside Bhuv Kumar, Bumrah formed a potent new-ball partnership which kept South Africa quiet. Mohammad Shami was not too shabby, either. India may want to think of injecting some pace or bounce in the form of Umesh Yadav or Ishant Sharma respectively for the Centurion surface.

The big winner, though, was Hardik Pandya. A replacement for Ravi Jadeja, Hardik grasped his chance with three wickets and a first-innings 93 which made the hosts sweat.

Despite the failure to get a warm-up match a front five of Murali Vijay, Shik Dhawan, Chet Pujara, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma should score runs.

First-innings runs

The last 12 first-innings scores at Centurion (most recent first) read: 481-475-552-397-409-180-136-418-250-188-313-276. That gives us an average of 340. The low scores of 136 and 188 were by India and Sri Lanka respectively. That will worry India. If they weren't used to seam and swing in Cape Town, they now face a trial by pace and bounce.

Match odds

South Africa's price has collapsed to [1.55] from the [1.7] they were for the Cape Town Test. This looks a stiff task for India, who are [4.7] and the draw is [6.6].

If South Africa are untouchable at Newlands then how do you describe their record at SuperSport Park? With a win-loss ratio of 8.5 it is their most successful home venue. They have thrashed England and New Zealand in their last two.

The toss is key. If India bowl first, they are probably done for. South Africa have won eight from 11 with two draws when batting first. They go big.

When you consider such facts it is hard to recognise India as any sort of value. What about South Africa? Well, if the [1.55] holds with them batting first it is a bet. But we doubt it will.

If those odds are not for you we could see some movement in the draw price. Big runs in the first dig bring it down and if India can just hunker down for 400 or more we could get some space for a trade at maybe half the price.

Top South Africa runscorer

Hashim Amla has a brilliant record at this ground. In seven fewer innings that leading runscorer Jacques Kallis, Amla is just 65 runs behind with 1,202 in 16. That's a traditional average of 80. He has five centuries and six fifties. The 7/2 with the Sportsbook that he top scores will prove popular.

Top India runscorer

Could India's top order get blown away? It's certainly possible considering the record of Asian teams there. So although Kohli at 13/5 and Pujara at 16/5 are fancies, Pandya at 9/1 and Ravi Ashwin at 25/1 could be fun gambles.

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