India will play South Africa in the third Test at Newlands Stadium on January 11 in an attempt to win the series. After each club wins a match in Centurion and Johannesburg, the three-match series is currently tied at 1-1.
India has never won a Test series in South Africa, so they will be eager to take advantage of this opportunity and make history in Cape Town.
In terms of team selection, they have a few challenges to work out before the third Test. With an upper back spasm, regular Test captain Virat Kohli missed the second Test at the Wanderers, which the Proteas won by 7 wickets.
Kohli is nearing match fitness, according to both head coach Rahul Dravid and stand-in captain KL Rahul, who have begun working at the nets and fielding practise. It may be a welcome sign for India, who have been missing Kohli’s passion and drive on the field.
On the fourth day of the second Test, India appeared to be going through the motions as South Africa, led by Dean Elgar, unsettled Indian bowlers and easily scored the required 122 runs.
It would be surprising if spinner Mohammed Siraj was risked for this match after sustaining a hamstring injury in the second Test, while opener Rohit Sharma is also out with a hamstring ailment.
If Siraj is unable to recover in time for the third Test, India may contemplate bringing either Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav. However, India may choose Ishant because he has played in South Africa and can extract bounce from the ground due to his height, which the South African pacers excelled at in Johannesburg.
- South Africa v India 3rd Test Match Details
Date: 11th to 15th January 2021
Time: 2:00 pm IST
Venue: Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa.
- South Africa
In a tense second Test that saw the pendulum swing in multiple directions, South Africa completed a successful run chase, losing only three wickets to tie the series and left all to play for in Cape Town.
Following Quinton de Kock’s surprise retirement from Test cricket at the end of the first Test, Kyle Verreynne was given a chance to play in the second Test and is expected to keep his spot.
Although it may be tempting to rotate the faster bowlers, with Anrich Nortje a possible replacement for Lungi Ngidi or Marco Jansen, it would be no surprise if South Africa kept with the same lineup that won the second Test.
- South Africa vs India 3rd Test Match Predicted XI
Dean Elgar (c), Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Macro Jensen, Verreynne (wk), Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, K Petersen, Lungi Ngidi
KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj
- Match Prediction
Indian bowlers were unable to match the quality of South African bowlers in the previous game, and they will be hoping to make a great recovery to win the series, which would be India’s first series win in South Africa.