Having already sealed the series, high-flying India will look to extend their winning run when the take on beleaguered South Africa in the third and final Test at Ranchi. The Virat Kohli-led side has faced little difficulty from South Africa in the ongoing series. In the home conditions, India have thoroughly outplayed the Proteas to reclaim the Gandhi-Mandela Trophy.

Almost everything has gone India’s way in the series and the hosts will be looking to put up yet another dominating performance. On the other hand, South Africa have endured a terrible time in the series. Their top-order has failed miserably in the series while their bowlers have also struggled to pick wickets.

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The way the visitors have played so far, it looks highly unlikely that they can beat India in Ranchi. But then again, South Africa definitely know a thing or two about winning and cannot be written off. South Africa will be desperate to open their account in the ICC Test Championship. India, on the other hand, are ruling at the top with 200 points and will look to extend their winning run,


Shahbaz Nadeem is set to make his Test debut. He was given his maiden Test cap by the skipper.

Toss Report:

India have won the toss in the third and final Test and have decided to bat first.

Here is what the captains said:

Virat Kohli:

“It’s a no-brainer to bat first on this one. I don’t think it’s gonna be slow but it will keep low. Should spin at a decent pace. As long as it turns with pace on the ball, we don’t mind the bounce. Just one change – Ishant has been given a break. Shahbaz Nadeem makes his debut. Unfortunately, Kuldeep couldn’t pull up. We checked on him yesterday but he didn’t respond well enough from his shoulder niggle. Nadeem is the local boy and it’s a dream debut. We’ll have to continue to work hard and look to win sessions of cricket. That’s the only message I look to pass on.”

Faf du Plessis:

“It shows that it isn’t meant to be. Important toss as this looks the driest surface of the series. It’s about the first innings really and we need to put runs on the board when we bat. One forced change with Aiden (Markram). Few other changes as well. Quinton will open the batting. Hopefully he can put pressure on the Indian bowlers, like what Rohit has done for India. Heinrich Klaasen comes in as the wicket-keeper.

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“A new spinner in George Linde makes his Test debut. Two weeks ago he was 1000 miles away from playing Test cricket but that’s how quickly things happen. Lungi Ngidi also comes in. We’ve gone in with five bowlers to take the 20 wickets and hopefully we can. Starting in India is a tough challenge and all teams that have played here will vouch for it. We did compete well in the first game but it didn’t go our way last game. We’re ready for the fight.”

India (Playing XI):

Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

South Africa (Playing XI):

Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis(c), Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen(w), George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi

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