Third Test Wanderers record a boost for India

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By 2018-01-24

India will seek to avoid a series whitewash when they play South Africa in the third and final Test at the Wanderers Stadium, starting today.

The Wanderers could live up to its reputation as a haven for fast bowlers, especially after South African captain Faf du Plessis expressed his disappointment with the slowness of the Centurion pitch where South Africa clinched the series last week.

Kohli himself has happy memories of the ground, having scored 119 and 96 in the drawn first Test in 2013/14 when South Africa, set to make a world record 458 to win, finished on 450 for seven, in a match which showed that batsmen can prosper at the Wanderers once the initial sting is drawn from the surface. Cheteshwar Pujara made 153 in the second innings of the 2013/14 match and India will be seeking an improvement from their number three batsman, who has made only 49 runs in four innings, including being run out in both innings in Centurion.

Ajinkya Rahane, who did not play in the first two Tests, had a lengthy net at the weekend and could be recalled on the strength of a strong record in overseas Tests.

Dinesh Karthik was flown in as a replacement for injured wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and could play at the expense of Parthiv Patel, who had a poor game with the gloves in Centurion.

With their formidable fast bowling attack, coupled with more resolute batting and better fielding in the first two Tests, South Africa will again start favourites although they will be wary of a potential Indian backlash. Rain could interfere with play on as many as four days.

Likely teams:
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi.

India (from): Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wkt), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.

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