India target historic series win in second Test against South Africa

Kohli's team hope to build on comprehensive victory in Centurion opener

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Virat Kohli will look to seal a historic Test series win in South Africa when India take on the Proteas in the second Test that begins in Johannesburg on Monday.

History will be on India's side as they look to complete a first-ever series triumph in the country after their comprehensive 113-run victory in the Centurion Test.

The Proteas face a tough task as they look to level the series at a ground where they have never beaten the Indians, who have recorded two wins and three draws in their previous five Tests at The Wanderers.

India won on their last visit to Johannesburg in 2018, a memorable effort on a difficult wicket which captain Virat Kohli believes paved the way for their recent success abroad, including series wins in Australia and 2-1 lead in the incomplete series in England.

"It's a top start for us," Kohli said. "It's always a difficult place to play against South Africa. We got so much confidence out of Johannesburg last time. It's a ground we love playing at."

India won the first Test of the series after a solid first day with the bat - with opener KL Rahul scoring a century - and another impressive display by their pace attack.

Injuries aside, India are unlikely to change their playing XI, though the form of batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane remains a concern in the three-match series.

South Africa, however, have been forced to make at least one change. Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock was set to miss the final two games of the series while on paternity leave. However, he then made his absence from the five-day format permanent after unexpectedly announcing his retirement following the first Test defeat.

Kyle Verreynne kept wicket in De Kock’s absence in the West Indies in June and is likely to get the nod again.

India's pace attack has been the driving force behind heir recent success and their spearhead Jasprit Bumrah will have another reason to run in hard in the second Test.

The right-arm quick was made vice-captain for the three-match ODI series that follows the Tests. Opener KL Rahul was named captain for the ODIs with newly appointed skipper Rohit Sharma still unavailable due to injury.

Bumrah's elevation to leadership position is just reward for his performances across formats and in all conditions, that have made him one of the few certainties whenever India play.

Updated: January 01, 2022, 4:19 PM