About the Match
India has lost yet another series abroad and its search for some measure of success in South Africa continues. South Africa has been tested by India but in the end, emerged the superior side with a relative amount of ease. Things are not going to get any easier for the visitors at the Wanderers as the conditions get fiercer and South Africa closes in on a 3-0 victory.
The series is in the bag but this South African team is not going to be content winning 2-0 only. They want to extract every bit of revenge that they can and can be expected to go all-out in this match.
The conditions at Centurion were very surprising and had India managed to pull off a win in that match, a lot of conspiracy theories would have been floated. All indications suggest that the Wanderers is going to provide South Africa the kind of surface they really want.
We don’t see any changes in the side being made especially now that Lungi Ngidi has started his career in a stunning fashion. The only possible change that South Africa might consider is possibly swapping out Keshav Maharaj for an extra batsman or maybe even a fast-bowling all-rounder to really put their foot on India’s throat.
With a bowling lineup boasting of Ngidi, Rabada, Morkel, and Philander, South Africa can possibly enjoy the luxury of another batsman and insure themselves against any collapses. Their batting has been enough to beat India but they have not really had a great series.
No batsman has scored a century for South Africa and while AB de Villiers has looked good in every inning that he has played, he has shown a tendency to throw away his wicket after getting set. The positive thing for South Africa is that all of their batsmen have scored runs including Markram, Elgar, Amla, de Villiers and Du Plessis.
Only Quinton de Kock has struggled for runs and he too could turn things around quite quickly.
South Africa does not need to do anything drastic ahead of this test match and will be the firm favorites going into this match.
Virat Kohli and his team are finding life tough outside of the comfort of their home. There is a reason that so much is being made of this series loss, after all, India has lost in South Africa multiple times in the past. That reason, we believe, is that people were genuinely hopeful of Virat and his men being able to pull off something special.
India has competed well in this series at times but been let down by its batsmen. Murali Vijay has struggled to stay at the wicket for a long time and the one time he did get a start he failed to convert it into a big one.
Pujara has managed to survive some extremely trying periods but has just not scored enough runs to make it matter. Only Virat Kohli has played one inning of substance from the Indian side. Rohit Sharma has been a failure and while it is being unfair on Dhawan and Rahul, both of them have done nothing to enhance their reputations.
So, what do they do in this last test match?
We are certain that AJinkya Rahane will find a place in the team. He is likely to replace Ashwin in the team especially since the pitch is expected to offer a lot of help to the seamers. It is a risky move because the cracking pitch can bring in Ashwin later in the game, but we think this is the route the Indian team management will take.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who was so good in the first test should find a way back into the eleven as well. Whether he plays in place of Ishant Sharma or Mohammad Shami remains to be seen because Jasprit Bumrah has the confidence of the team management at the moment.
India took a few controversial decisions and because they did not pay off, has put some extra pressure on itself. The team selection will once again attract a lot of attention and possibly add to the problems of the players as well.
Pitch and Conditions
Rain is in the air in Johannesburg and rain has been forecast for all the days, with the heaviest being on the third and the fifth day of the test match. The combination of moisture in the air, grass on the pitch, and a hard bouncy surface underneath spells trouble for the batsmen on both sides.
This will be a seam bowling shootout and even though a lot of time is going to be lost in the match, we are still likely to get a decision.
The last time India played at Johannesburg, they found themselves pressing for victory and then holding on to dear life by the end of it. That kind of surface is unlikely to be offered up to them. We think that a seaming wicket will actually reduce the difference between the two sides but it is hard to see India avoiding a 3-0 defeat at this point in time.
Back South Africa to win.