India have never lost at Wanderers in four Tests and that is a silver lining that Virat Kohli and his men can look upto going into the last and final Test of the Freedom Series at the New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. After losing the first two Tests and with their backs to the wall, India would look to avoid the much-dreaded whitewash. But it will be anything but easy as Faf du Plessis and his army have their tails up and are raring to go.
While India are the number one Test side in world cricket, their performances have left a lot to be desired, especially the batsmen. The likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul will need to step up to the mark. Also most likely to make a return to the playing eleven will be Ajinkya Rahane and the pressure will also be on him to perform. Dinesh Karthik was also spotted practicing in the nets and he too is likely to make the cut in place of Parthiv Patel.
With reports suggesting a green-top will be on offer once again, it will be interesting to witness which bowling combination Virat Kohli will go in with. However, the real challenge for the Indian team will be their metal resolve as they face an acid test of character.
The home side, on the other hand, will only be glad about the greenish tinge on the Jo’burg surface. Keeping this in mind it seems likely that Faf du Plessis will also go ahead with a four-pronged seam attack and rest spinner Keshav Maharaj on Wednesday.
“Playing this match without a spinner is definitely something that we are speaking about in our selection meetings. It is an option and it was also an option in Centurion,” Du Plessis had said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. If they do so then all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo or Theunis de Bryun might get a look-in.
South Africa Squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungisani Ngidi, Theunis de Bruyn, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Duanne Olivier
India Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar