South Africa vs India, 3rd Test – Match Predictions
The battle for supremacy continues as there will be no let off from both the sides despite the fact that the series is already decided.
Published - Jan 23, 2018 2:12 pm | Updated - Jan 24, 2018 11:37 am
India and South Africa will lock horns for one final time in the three-match Test series at Wanderers in Johannesburg on Wednesday. The hosts have already won the series and are aiming to whitewash the visitors whose batsmen have looked clueless in demanding conditions. On the other hand, Virat Kohli and his men have come under some serious scrutiny after losing their first away tour following the dominant home season. However, they would want to avoid the humiliating 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the well equipped South African side.
The first two Test matches have been exciting with both the teams having their moments right through the game. The pendulum swung frequently in the first match at Newlands when the wicket spiced up extraordinarily after the rain on the third day. The pitch in Centurion bluffed everyone though as it played low and slow. Despite stuttering, South Africa have been the better team in the series who played collectively well.
In contrast, India have failed to latch on to the key moments and lost both the matches. They threatened to take the game away from the hosts but only for a brief period. They will have to play exceedingly well to gun down the challenge of Proteas side in their own den.
Here’s CricTracker’s Preview of the game.
Ever since Team India has landed on the African shores, there has been a lot of talk about the pitches. While Newlands provided a brilliant track which had seam and bounce in it, the pitch at Supersport park was a rather surprising one with lack of pace and bounce. There have been reports that a lot of grass has been kept by the curator on the wicket for the third Test at Wanderers. Expect a lot of seam movement for the bowlers right through the Test which will keep batsmen on the tenterhooks.
The team winning the toss would definitely want to bowl first on this pitch.
South Africa are keen on going for the whitewash and they will only make a couple of changes it seems. The first one would be leaving out Aiden Markram as he was injured during the second Test. Theunis de Bruyn might come in for him as Temba Bavuma was ruled out due to the fractured finger. Hashim Amla is expected to open the innings along with Dean Elgar at the top with the following batsmen coming up the order as well. De Bruyn will bat mostly at 5 =, the position which he preferred in England.
Also, looking at the grass on the pitch, the home team might be tempted to go with an all-pace attack which means Keshav Maharaj will have to make way for Chris Morris.
Predicted XI: Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (c), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Chris Morris, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi
India have a lot of questions to answer after losing the series with one match to go. Their selection strategies have been heavily criticised by everyone and once again the team management have the task cut out to pick the best XI for the final Test. Ajinkya Rahane is all set to make his return in place of the much-debated Rohit Sharma. An injury to KL Rahul means that Shikhar Dhawan will also come back after being dropped for the second game of the series.
Even the visitors are expected to field an all-pace attack with Bhuneshwar Kumar set to take the place of R Ashwin. Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will retain their places after an impressive show in Centurion.
Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Here’s what CricTracker predicts for the game:
Head to Head Record
Overall: Total number of Tests played – 35, South Africa won – 15, India won – 10, Draw – 10.
Matches in South Africa: Total number of Tests played – 19, South Africa won – 10, India won – 2, Draw – 7.
Probable Top Performers
Ajinkya Rahane (India) | Vernon Philander (South Africa)
TV: Sony Ten 1 & Sony Ten 3
Online: Sony Liv
The match starts at 1:30 PM, IST
The prediction is for South Africa to win the game and complete a comprehensive whitewash over India.