Virat Kohli's talismanic presence will boost India's chances of securing a historic first-ever away Test series against South Africa but the hosts will also walk in with a spring in their step in the final Test starting on Tuesday.
Kohli missed the last Test in Johannesburg due to back spasms but the skipper is back for the series finale that is locked at 1-1. The hosts will definitely fancy their chances after a fighting performance drew them level in the second Test.
And playing his 99th Test on what will also be his daughter's first birthday, the batter in Kohli would like to make it a special one for the 'Captain', who has been under tremendous pressure of late.
Nothing succeeds like success and winning the first-ever Test series in South Africa in three decades will certainly establish Kohli as one of the greatest to have led the country in the traditional format.
And to achieve that, the team's batting, which hasn't exactly been anything more than mediocre, needs to improve by a few notches and perhaps a first innings score in excess of 300 plus will set the tone.
In the bowling department, Ishant Sharma is expected to replace injured Mohammed Siraj. The nature of South African tracks and his over 6 feet frame, with the ability to bowl maiden after maiden, makes him a better choice than Umesh Yadav, who is a similar bullish workhorse.
At the same time, Jasprit Bumrah, who would like to improve his strike-rate which has gone down since he has come back from his back injury.
Dean Elgar, Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma were not perturbed by his mindless short-pitched bowling and the Indian slinger would like to do what he does best, bowl fast and full with deliveries deviating on both sides of the track.
That would go a long way in ensuring that they have a great party on Table Top after 15 January.
Here are all the details about the third Test between South Africa and India.
When will the third Test between South Africa and India take place?
The third Test between India and South Africa will take place from 11-15 January 2022.
What is the venue for the South Africa-India match?
The match will take place at Newlands in Cape Town.
When will the match start?
The match will begin at 2 pm IST. The toss will take place at 1.30 pm IST on Day 1.
Which TV channels will broadcast India vs South Africa match?
The match will be telecast on Star Sports Network. The live streaming of the match will also be available on Disney + Hotstar. You can also browse firstpost.com for live updates and over-by-over commentary.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul (vc), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Jayant Yadav, Priyank Panchal, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Ishant Sharma.
South Africa: Dean Elgar (captain), Temba Bavuma (vice-captain), Kagiso Rabada, Sarel Erwee, Beuran Hendricks, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Marco Jansen, Glenton Stuurman, Prenelan Subrayen, Sisanda Magala, Ryan Rickelton, Duanne Olivier.
With PTI inputs
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