SA vs IND- Toss Report, India tour of South Africa 2021-22, 2nd Test
SA vs IND- Toss Report, India tour of South Africa 2021-22, 2nd Test.

India take on South Africa in the third and final Test match at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town from 11 to 15th January 2022. The three-match Test series is currently levelled at 1-1 with one final Test match left to be played. India began their series with a 113-run win in the first Test.

However, the Proteas fought back with a brilliant all-round performance with both bat and ball in the second Test match and won that game by 7 wickets. Here’s a look at how both teams shape up ahead of the third and final Test match.

SA vs IND: Match Preview, India vs South Africa 2021-22, 3rd Test

India

India vs South Africa
Image Source: Twitter

After winning the first Test, India let that advantage slip as they succumbed to a seven-wicket defeat in the second Test. They dearly missed the services of Virat Kohli, both as a batsman and as a skipper. India scored 202 and 266 runs in the two innings.

It could have easily been 300-plus total had their batsmen shown a little more application with the bat. KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, and Cheteshwar Pujara all scored a half-century each in the Test match. However, Mayank Agarwal couldn’t convert the starts into big scores, while Rishabh Pant hasn’t been mature enough with his shot selections.

Virat Kohli is looking fit and is likely to play the final Test match. His inclusion should bolster this batting unit, while Pujara and Rahane are also likely to hold on to their places. This means that Hanuma Vihari is, once again, going to lose his place from the playing XI.

Despite half-centuries from Pujara and Rahane, India’s middle-order form remains a big concern. Add to that, India have never won a Test match at Newlands in Cape Town. In 5 Tests, they have lost 3, while 2 games resulted in draws. For them to change the result, they need to post strong totals on the board with the bat.

Despite picking only 1 wicket on the final day of the second Test match, India wouldn’t be too worried as far as their bowling is concerned. The only worry right now is Mohammed Siraj’s hamstring injury. If he doesn’t get fit for the final Test, then it will be interesting to see who replaces him between Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.

South Africa

Kagiso Rabada picked up three quick wickets, South Africa vs India, 2nd Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day, January 5, 2021 © AFP/Getty Images
Kagiso Rabada picked up three quick wickets, South Africa vs India, 2nd Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day, January 5, 2021 © AFP/Getty Images

South Africa batted brilliantly against a lethal Indian fast bowling unit in the second Test of the series. They managed to score 229 runs in the first innings, before chasing down 240 runs in the second innings to win the Test match with seven wickets in hand.

Dean Elgar was the one who stood tall and showed how you should bat on those South African pitches. His unbeaten 91-run knock in the final innings played the biggest role in South Africa’s victory in Johannesburg. Rassie van der Dussen played a vital 40-run knock as well, while Temba Bavuma, too, has been in pretty good form.

Young Keegan Petersen also played a stunning 62-run knock off 118 deliveries in the second inning and showed why South Africa had trusted him to bat at number three in that batting order. All in all South Africa’s batting looks in good touch and would be confident of posting good totals in Cape Town. Their record in Cape Town is outstanding. They have never lost a Test match against India at this ground and would look to continue the winning streak.

With the ball, Kagiso Rabada will be their biggest bet. Olivier made an immediate impact on his comeback and South Africa is likely to persist with him in the final Test. Besides, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen should complete this pace-attack.