Will India be able to bounce back after the humiliating defeat in the first Test at Newlands, Cape Town?

That was the question in most Indian dailies on Friday (January 12) as the team geared up for another pace battle in the second Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

Elsewhere, Mark Wood promised to turn up the heat on the likes of Steven Smith and David Warner in England’s five-match One-Day International series, while Usman Khawaja, fresh from a century in the fifth and final Ashes Test, aspires to again represent Australia in all three cricketing formats.

Runs or Ruins in Centurion? (The Times of India)
The formalities at Newlands hadn’t ended and South Africa were yet to begin with their celebrations after winning the first Test match in Cape Town when Bryan Bloy, the chief groundsman at the SuperSport Park, was handed a message by the home team management. The pitch for the second Test had to be fast and bouncy. “Keep it lively” was the communication. Bloy knows a thing or two about preparing a ‘lively wicket’. Under his watch, South Africa have enjoyed a winning spree here at the Centurion like no other venue across this country.

Of bounce and bouncebackability (The Indian Express)
Getting hit on the ribs by a net bowler’s short ball, Virat Kohli let out a cry of disappointment. He would further show his dismay by swinging his bat and hitting the rolled up matting that lay behind the stump. The frustration, however, would fade within seconds as he would focus on the next short-ball he would face. There was work to be done, the Test match was just 48 hours away.Kohli, like the rest of the Indian batting unit, was working on playing the ball that rose from the good-length spot.

Visitors will have to adapt to high altitude at Centurion, Johannesburg (Mumbai Mirror)
They say it takes a minute extra for an egg to boil in Johannesburg, for that matter in Pretoria too. So what does it mean? It means extra effort, extra energy and extra fire power as well. It would also mean that any major physical effort here would sap extra energy. The athletes coming to Johannesburg are normally advised to come early so that they can get acclimatized to the high altitude of the city. Even professional boxers, known for their scientific methods of training, have complained for breathing problems here. Indians landed here only Wednesday for a Test starting on Saturday.

Sourav Ganguly unhappy over Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan’s place in Cape Town Test (Deccan Chronicle)
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday spoke against Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, stressing mainly on the fact of their overseas record. Virat Kohli’s men began their South Africa tour on a forgettable note, after having lost the first Test by 72 runs. “History of Rohit Sharma and history of Shikhar Dhawan in overseas conditions are not very good. You look at their records, it’s like chalk and cheese when they go away and when they are in India.”

Post dope ban, Yusuf Pathan available for Rs 75 lakh (The Times of India)
After serving out his five-month suspension by the BCCI on the grounds of a doping violation, former India allrounder Yusuf Pathan is set to be available at the forthcoming IPL auction for Rs 75 lakhs, TOI has learnt. The BCCI, which had told Yusuf not to play for Baroda in the recently-concluded Ranji Trophy, released a statement on Tuesday revealing that the 35-year old had “inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups”.

BCCI units meet on Justice Lodha panel reforms, split clear (Hindustan Times)

Eleven state cricket associations met in Mumbai on Thursday to discuss the way forward in implementing the reforms recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice (retd.) RM Lodha Committee. It was an unofficial meeting initiated by a current office-bearer and an Indian Premier League functionary, it is learnt. For experts, it is a sign that the Board of Control for Cricket in India is now divided over those who are ready to implement the Lodha reforms and those who are opposing it. The entire North Zone block kept away.

Jemimah Rodrigues: Indian women’s cricket team’s new member hungry for runs (Hindustan Times)
Last year, on November 5, she became the youngest Indian to score a double hundred in a first-class game; and a fortnight later, on November 20, she received a debut call-up to the India ‘A’ side. And on Wednesday, Jemimah Rodrigues was named in the Indian women’s cricket squad for the South Africa tour. Three milestones accomplished in the span of just over two months by a 17-year-old. If there’s a reason this is not part of a Bollywood script but simply one’s achievements, it’s perhaps because Jemimah started playing with the season ball at the age of four.

It’s a new start for me as I was eagerly waiting for this opportunity for a long time: Cricketer Taniya Bhatia (The Indian Express)
Seven years ago, Chandigarh cricketer Taniya Bhatia had created history by becoming the youngest woman cricketer to play for the Punjab senior team at the national level. On Tuesday, the 20-year-old wicket-keeper batswoman was named in the 16-member Indian women’s cricket team for the three-match ODI series against South Africa to be held there next month.

It took time to understand: Ojha (The Indian Express)
It was 2008 and T20 cricket was largely unknown. The opening edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which captured the imagination of cricket buffs worldwide, was still to happen.
For the first time, a south zone championship was held in the same Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy stadium in Visakhapatnam, where the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament’s zonal event is now under way.

England paceman Mark Wood already giving Australia batsmen more to worry about than in entire Ashes series (Mirror, UK)
Birthday boy Mark Wood will get to show just how much England missed his pace in the Ashes by getting the Aussie batsmen ­hopping about in the one-dayers. And he has promised to turn up the heat on the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner after watching their Test averages grow fat on a diet of right-arm medium pace. Matt Renshaw went within a whisker of opening in the Ashes, but instead his only battle with England – who had Test skipper Joe Root on drinks duties – came in a 50-over warm-up won at a canter by the ­visitors by five ­wickets thanks to Eoin Morgan’s 81 not out.

After big innings for Sydney Thunder, Usman Khawaja wants to play all formats for Australia (Sydney Morning Herald)
Usman Khawaja aspires to again represent Australia in all three cricketing formats, but his immediate goal is trying to get a laugh out of a recent adversary and new teammate. The 31-year-old left-handed Queensland batsman, who has played 29 Tests, 18 ODIs and nine T20 internationals, is enjoying a very productive season. His stylish 85 off 51 deliveries in Sydney Thunder’s three-run BBL win over Perth Scorchers on Thursday highlighted the adaptability of the Pakistan-born batsman.

Zampa resolved after ODI wake-up call (cricket.com.au)
Adam Zampa says the “wake-up call” of being dropped on Australia’s tour of India has strengthened his resolve to re-establish himself as Australia’s No.1 one-day spinner. Having been Australia’s frontline ODI spinner for 18 months since his debut in early 2016, Zampa was axed after just one game of the recent Indian series and replaced by Western Australian Ashton Agar.

Where does Jimmy Neesham’s future lie? (NZ Herald)
In Ian Fleming’s novel Goldfinger, the eponymous villain says to James Bond: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action” when the British secret agent crosses his path one too many times. Hopefully the same is not true of Jimmy Neesham with New Zealand Cricket. The all-rounder is one of NZC’s 21 contracted players for the 2017-18 season, but his stocks are down. He cannot get a start with the last-placed Otago side in the Burger King Super Smash.

Claire Polosak makes history as first female to officiate in men’s England match (Independent)
Polosak broke new ground for female umpires in Sydney on Thursday by becoming the first woman to officiate a men’s England match. The 29-year-old who hails from Goulburn, the same part of New South Wales as England coach Trevor Bayliss, stood alongside Gerard Abood at the Drummoyne Oval as the tourists defeated a Cricket Australia XI by five wickets.

Al Amin given all-clear (Daily Star)
Pacer Al Amin Hossain was yesterday cleared to continue bowling by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)’s bowling review committee. The bowler underwent a bowling action review conducted by BCB computer analyst Nasir Ahmed on January 7 and upon examining the report, the bowling review committee gave him the green signal. Al Amin will now be able to play the ongoing Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL), the upcoming Dhaka Premier League as well as being available for national selection.