Virat Kohli-led India will have their sights on clinching the Freedom Trophy when they take on Faf du Plessis' South Africa in the second Test starting in Pune's Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday.
The hosts had a memorable outing in the first Test in Visakhapatnam, with Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja taking nine wickets among them in the second innings to bundle out South Africa for 191 in their run chase of 395.
Apart from the South African second innings, there was some fine batting on display in Visakhapatnam with five centuries being scored between the batsmen of the two teams. While Rohit Sharma scored a century in each of his innings in the opening match, Mayank Agarwal registered a historic double ton. Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock were the other centurions.
Like in Visakhapatnam, spinners are expected to play a very important part in Pune as well. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja picked up 14 wickets between them in the opening Test, while Keshav Maharaj also scalped five wickets in two innings. However, the Proteas spinners lacked accuracy and leaked runs and the team management will be hoping for a much-improved performance from them in the second Test.
The spinners had dominated in Pune's only Test played so far, between India and Australia, picking up 31 of the 40 wickets to fall. Steve O' Keefe registered two six-wicket spells as the Aussies went on to win the contest by 333 runs in a match which ended in three days.
All eyes will be on the weather gods as the two teams head into the Pune Test. The first match witnessed minimal interruptions, with only the post-tea session on the opening day being washed out due to rain.
However, it may be bad news for fans and teams alike, as rain is likely to play a major role in Pune, according to Accuweather. While it is likely to be sunny during the start of play at 9.30 am IST on the first day, thunderstorms are expected by 2 pm IST.
While that could go on for an hour, the skies are expected to be cloudy for the rest of the evening. The cloudy weather is expected to continue till 4 pm IST on the second day, during which thunderstorms will most likely make its appearance once again. While the forecast is expected to be similar for the weekend, the sun is finally expected to make an appearance on the final day on Monday with a thunderstorm again in the afternoon.