Team winner Prediction:
- South Africa are a little too over-reliant on Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma to score the bulk of the runs
- With Virat Kohli back, India will be a lot more aggressive and that could prove to be a massive difference in this upcoming contest
- India are a slightly better-balanced side between the two with experience available right through their lineup
SA v IND Analysis:
Just like the first Test, the 2nd Test between South Africa and India ebbed and flowed for the complete duration of the match before finally ending in India’s favor. Although the seven-wicket win margin may portray that match to be a one-sided affair, it certainly was not. India had a chance to script history with a win in that match, but they failed to take the initiative and eventually ended up on the losing side.
The win for the Proteas has put the series nicely in balance. India still have a chance to script history and with Kohli set to make a return to the fold, they will be as hungry as ever. South Africa, on the other hand, will be jubilant with that win and come out with newfound confidence.
The third match of the series, the match which is to be played at the Newlands Cricket Ground, will be the ultimate test of the two sides. Which team manages to lift itself up for the finale and win the trophy? Well, only time will tell! For now, the third Test of the series between South Africa and India is all set for a cracking contest.
Date: January 11, 2022
Time: 02:00 PM (IST)
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar
TV: Star Sports Network
Pitch and Weather Conditions:
Unlike the two other venues we have seen in the series so far, the Newlands is known to offer some assistance to the spinners as the match progresses. Given that, Keshav Maharaj and Ravichandran Ashwin might have a bigger role to play than they had in the first two matches. Seamers, on the other hand, will once again be the more important commodity in the match, regardless of the time and day in the match.
Batting here will be easier than it was at Johannesburg and Centurion and taking wickets will need a lot more effort from the bowlers. Also, Cape Town is the hottest of all the three venues used in the series, and not like the case was in the first two matches, rain is expected to stay away. 361 is the average first innings total in the eight first-class matches played here in the last two years and the team batting first would want to post a total of over 400.
South Africa (SA):
If there’s one thing to take out from South Africa’s win in the second match, it would certainly be the dogged knock in the second innings by Dean Elgar. Till the beginning of the fourth innings, South Africa were the clear underdogs with 240 runs needed to win the match and draw level. Not only were they able to pull off the chase, but they also did so without letting India have even a sniff at a win.
With an enterprising win in the last match, South Africa will go into the next match with plenty of confidence up its sleeve. Together as a team, they did better than the sum of their parts and will now be eager to do that for one more time in this series. South Africa showed a massive improvement over how they did in the opening match of the series and will certainly be a lot more dangerous side to deal with at Newlands.
Unlike in the first match, wherein they tried too many things too often, they focused on getting the basics right at the Wanderers. They were under the pump right throughout the match and did make a good number of mistakes, but were better at holding their nerve when it mattered and that’s what got them through to a much-needed win.
The presence of the fourth mainstream seamer immediately paid dividends as the Proteas never allowed India to run away with the game even when India looked ahead. Marco Jansen and Duanne Olivier with brilliant at not only drying up runs – the task they were primarily supposed to do but also managed to pick up important wickets. Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi were terrific in both innings as South Africa exhibited a complete bowling effort. Although Keshav Maharaj wasn’t used much – he wasn’t needed as well, he did contribute well with the bat in the first innings, which proved to be a considerable effort from him in the overall scheme of things.
South Africa showed a massive improvement with the bat as well. With Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, and Kyle Verryene all making useful contributions, the Proteas’ will be brimming with confidence coming into the upcoming match. After having three consecutive poor outings, Aiden Markram did produce a decent innings, which certainly has answered a lot of questions.
South Africa showed glimpses of what they are capable of in the first match before finally turning those glimpses into results in the second. With batting and bowling both putting up meaningful contributions, South Africa looks a pretty settled unit. They might be looking to replace Maharaj with Mulder in the upcoming match, but the decision would depend upon the surface. Regardless, South Africa appear to be an immaculately balanced side, at least on paper, and if they are able to utilize the home conditions to their advantage, they would be a very tough side to get past.
Likely XI: Dean Elgar (C), Aiden Makram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreyne(wk), Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi
Please check the team once when Playing XI Announced.
It is not often that you are favorites against the Proteas even when playing away from home, but this Indian team has certainly achieved that feat. India nonchalantly won the first match of the series and were never really expected to lose the second match of the series before the second match started. This loss in the second match might well act as a big wake-up call for them and they would want to come out strongly in the third.
While India would be happy to have their skipper back to the fold and lead the side, there are many more number of questions needed to be answered than there were after India’s win in the first Test. The first and foremost would be about who would he replace to come back into the side. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane both probably saved their careers respectively for at least one more match with the enterprising knocks they played.
Hanuma Vihari was the man who replaced Kohli in the second match, but he too did contribute with valuable contributions – in both innings of the match. Despite that, unfortunately for him, we expect him to take the ax for the team. The only department where Indians have looked flawless over the two matches has arguably been at the top of the order with the pair of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul getting their side to decent starts more often than not. Otherwise, India’s batting has largely underperformed and would need to be at their absolute best in the upcoming match, especially with South Africa having their confidence back.
On the bowling front, India wouldn’t really have a lot to ponder upon. Even though the likes of Mohammad Shami, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, and Ravi Ashwin were able to pick up a total of three wickets combined in the second innings of the second match, they did bowl pretty well and induced a good number of false shots from the Proteas. They didn’t really have the luck to get the wickets they needed, but it can all change in the upcoming match. With Siraj injured, India will need to decide between Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma – both of whom are pretty good at their trade. We expect Umesh to come in for Siraj, though in the upcoming match.
With Virat Kohli back, India might well look a completely different side than they looked in the second match. Kohli the captain was perhaps missed more than Kohli the batsmen in that match and his return would be a massive boost. Besides, he has an excellent record in South Africa and would be eager to make his last outing of the series count. In fact, given the odds a bet on Virat Kohli to be India’s best batsmen of the match seems to be a pretty lucrative proposition.
All in all, India do have a few gaps that they would want to address, but they wouldn’t be too worried, yet. They have a history of bouncing back from the defeats and will be confident of doing that again. If they are able to play to their peak potential as a team in this upcoming match, South Africa would certainly have their work cut out.
Likely XI: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), R. Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav/Ishant Sharma
Please check the team once when Playing XI Announced.
South Africa Squad: Dean Elgar (capt), Temba Bavuma (vice-captain), Aidan Markram, Viaan Mulder, Kagiso Rabada, Sarel Irvi, Beuran Hendrix, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Norkhia, Keegan Pietersen, Rasi Van Der Dusen, Kyle Varini, Marco Janssen, Glenton Sterman, Prenellen Subrian, Sisanda Magala, Payne Richelton and Duane Olivier.
India Squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Priyank Panchal, KL Rahul (vc), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (Wicket Keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (Wicket Keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jayant Yadav , Ishant Sharma, Muhammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Muhammad Siraj.