Preview: SA vs Ind (3rd Test): Team India Will Play For Pride In Johannesburg
By CricShots - Jan 23, 2018 1:28 pm
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Team India will be looking forward to avoiding an embarrassing series whitewash and regain some pride when they meet the hosts South Africa in the third and final Test in Johannesburg which starts at the Wanderers Stadium on Wednesday.

Team India

In the first two Test matches, India was outplayed in batting department of the game. Captain Virat Kohli also agreed that their opponents were way better. But in the upcoming Test, India will like to turn the tables and like to finish the series on a positive note.

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However, it will not be an easy job for the Indians. With the conditions and pitch favoring the South Africans, the visitors may find it tough to survive the full five days. India could witness a typical South African wicket — hard and dry with plenty of bounce — which often provides lots of seam movement in early days of Test as well.

Spinners could also play an important role on the fourth and fifth days (only of the Test lasts that long), so the inclusion of a spinner could be helpful in the second innings.

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In the batting department, apart from Virat, all the other batsmen have totally failed to step up to the occasion. Some of them are guilty of playing reckless shot selections– which would have worked on a slow pitch — in the first two Tests and coming into the third game, they will have got a huge task ahead.

Team India is full of stroke-makers like Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya. Their attitude of running through the bowlers with a glorious demonstration of shots will not work in the third match. Instead, they must take the approach of controlling their natural instincts against the South African pace quartet by curtailing their habit of going after each and every delivery.

Calls for the inclusion of Ajinkya Rahane, known for his quiet approach, instead of another Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma have grown over the last few days. It will not be a surprise if either Lokesh Rahul or Rohit sit out.

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In their bowling department, seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya, along with lone spinner Ravichandran Ashwin played sensibly but the fielding let them down.

On the other hand, South Africa will depend upon Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis to score the bulk of their runs. Rookie pacers Lungi Ngidi, who was the man of the Match in the last game will be crucial once again along with Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, and Kagiso Rabada. Keshav Maharaj will be the lone spinner for the hosts and may play a crucial role in the second innings.

Predicted XIs:

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel/Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma/Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami

South Africa:  Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Chris Morris/Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel