Rohit Sharma (2L) and Cheteshwar Pujara (R) chat between the wickets as South African cricket captain Faf du Plessis (L) looks on at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on October 5, 2019.
MUMBAI - India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat against South Africa in the second test of the three-match series at Pune on Thursday.
Both teams made a single change to their sides from the opening test at Visakhapatnam, which the hosts won by 203 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
India opted for an extra fast bowler, drafting in Umesh Yadav for spin-bowling all-rounder Hanuma Vihari.
"We are going to bat first, looks like a pretty nice, hard wicket," Kohli, in his 50th test as captain, said at the toss. "The ball eventually turns here on day two, day three so the first couple of days maybe the best time to bat.
"The surface is much harder than Vizag, has a bit of grass cover on it as well. If the ball reverses later on as well, we just wanted to add an another seaming option."
The touring side also decided to go in with an extra fast bowler and handed Anrich Nortje, 25, a test debut, replacing off-spinner Dane Piedt.
"There will be something there this morning," South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said, adding he was not too disappointed with losing the toss.
"It's important that we start ahead in the test match and from there we can almost take day four, day five out of the equation if we bowl really well in the first innings.
"Hopefully we can take the 20 wickets, that's something we didn't do in the first test. That's why we are bring in someone that can potentially bring us wickets."
India: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock, Senuran Muthusamy, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje