After losing the test series in Centurion, Indian Cricket team would be looking to salvage pride in the third test match against South Africa to be played at iconic Wander”s Stadium, Johannesburg from tomorrow. Team India bowlers have done a great job to pick wickets but the batsmen have let the team down in the Centurion test.
The team combination with India went into the second test match was poor with Bhuvneshwar Kumar not playing in the XI. Ajiyanka Rahane did not feature in playing during second test match also.
In the second test match at Centurion, Virat Kohli was the top scorer with 153 runs in the first innings. Murali Vijay contributed 46 runs. None of the Indian batsmen could score big runs. Ravichandran Ashwin scored 38 runs. Team India was bowled out for 307. Chasing the target of 287, it was another poor display of batting with batsmen gifting their wickets away. India was bowled out for 151 which resulted in a series.
The Indian bowling was very good with Ishant Sharma taking 3 wickets, Mohammad Shami 1 and R Ashwin taking 4 wickets. They restricted South Africa to 335 in the first innings. In the second innings too, Mohammad Shami was the pick of bowlers with 4 wickets, Bumrah 3, Ishant Sharma 2, Ashwin 1. They bowled out South Africa for 258.
The catching of the Indian team was poor dropping important catches which changed the course of the game.
South Africa batsmen played well in the first innings with Aiden Markram with 94, Dean Elgar 31, Hashim Amla 82, captain Faf du Plessis scoring important 63 runs. In the second innings too, AB de Villiers played a crucial knock of 80, Dean Elgar 61, Faf du Plessis 48, Vernon Philander 26 which helped them to give India a tough target of 287.
South African bowling was great in both innings. In the first innings, Morne Morkel picked 4 wickets and rest of bowlers took 1 wicket each. The debutant Lungi Ngidi bowled exceptionally well grabbing 6 wickets to help the hosts win the series.
Team India will be looking to perform much better as a unit. They need their batting unit to fire and put runs on the board which would help Indian bowlers to take wickets. Ajiyanka Rahane would come back into playing XI replacing Rohit Sharma, Bhubaneshwar Kumar might come into playing XI and it would be a tossup between Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel for this match.
South Africa might bring Theunis de Bruyn. Morne Morkel, Philander, Lungi Ngidi and Rabada will be the four frontline pacers.
The pitch at Johannesburg would help the pacers and it would be interesting to see that India can continue their winning streak in this ground or South Africa can clean sweep the number 1 ranked test side.
Probable XI for India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan/ KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik/ Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
Probable XI for South Africa: Dean Elgar, Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (C), Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Theunis de Bruyn, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi.