Aakash Chopra highlighted that South Africa will have to find a replacement for Quinton de Kock
De Kock, who was anyway expected to miss the last two Tests against India due to the impending birth of his first child, has now announced his retirement from the longest version of the game. Either Ryan Rickelton or Kyle Verreynne is likely to replace the wicketkeeper-batter for the Johannesburg Test.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra opined that South Africa should elevate Bavuma in the batting order. He reasoned:
“You will have to get a new keeper in any case, you don’t have any other option. It means you should send Temba Bavuma up the batting order because he is coming too low down the order currently. I feel he will bat better than Rassie-Vassie.”
The former India opener also feels that apart from Dean Elgar and Bavuma, the likes of Aiden Markram will have to deliver for the Proteas to put up a fight against the Virat Kohli-led side. Aakash Chopra observed:
“The batting will again be dependent on Dean Elgar and Bavuma but Markram will have to score runs. If he scores runs, this South African team will be able to fight, else if you do man-to-man marking, this Indian team is way ahead. It might have been slightly at par if Nortje and Quinton de Kock had been there.”
South Africa have certainly been hit hard due to the absence of Anrich Nortje and De Kock. However, they still have a potent bowling attack to put Team India under pressure if their batters put a decent total on the board.
“Rule South Africa out at your own peril” – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra highlighted that South Africa cannot be taken lightly
Aakash Chopra added that the seamer-friendly track at the Wanderers will even out the contest to a certain extent. He explained:
“But then, rule them [South Africa] out at your own peril because if there is a lot of life in the pitch, the contest becomes more closer. The margin of errors are then not much and the two teams get a lot closer.”
However, the renowned commentator believes the Indian team should put it across the Proteas if they play to their potential. Aakash Chopra said:
“I feel if the Indian team plays to their potential, then India should win this match. The series should be done and dusted here itself, that’s what I feel but then we shall find out what happens in the match.”
Team India have won two of the five Tests they have played in Johannesburg, with the other three ending in stalemates. A third win for the visitors at the venue will also help them seal a maiden Test series win in the Rainbow Nation.