After a short regroup following the Vizag Test, India and South Africa will reassemble at Pune to resume their battle for the No.1 ICC ranking, which, by the way, is still at stake. Should South Africa beat India in back to back Tests and win the series, they will usurp the hosts as the No.1 ranked side. But, that is a huge IF considering how visiting teams have performed in the country in the last decade. It has taken herculean team efforts to beat Indian in India and that is exactly what South Africa would seek from its players.
At Vizag, they were aided by sparks of brilliance from a few individuals. But to beat India they will need a team effort and Faf du Plessis would know that. On the pace front, at least, South Africa will be intent on righting their wrongs from Vizag. Notably, they were superb with the new ball on day one but failed to generate breakthroughs and it is this they will want to correct at Pune.
India, on the other hand, has few worries. The batting group is settled, the spinners did their job and with Mohammed Shami also stepping up in the first Test, there really isn’t much India to need to specifically worry about. That said, the Pune surface could be a potential discussion topic in one of those drawing board discussions.