With the 2nd test washed away due to rain in Bengaluru, the pressure has mounted upon Hashim Amla’s head to stop the hosts from sealing the fate of the series 2-0. India are already ahead in the series 1-0 after 2nd test. Any lackluster performance or move by the South Africans might cost them the entire series. Hence they will definitely do everything to stop Kohli and co.
The third test at Nagpur will be very important for both teams. If Kohli wins the third test at Nagpur then they will seal the series as well. For visitors, winning this test match is of utmost importance to stay alive in the series or else they will script their first overseas test series debacle almost after a decade.
Some reports are saying that South African speedster Dale Steyn will unfortunately miss the third test and series due to aggravation of his groin injury that he sustained in the Mohali test. Marchant de Lange will replace him for the remaining matches and is expected to appear in the third test between India and South Africa starting this Wednesday. Morne Morkel, Rabada, Kyle Abbott and De Lange will be the mainstay of South African bowling attack in the remaining test matches.
The last performance of South Africa at Nagpur test in 2010 was spectacular. Hashim Amla hit an amazing knock of 253 not out in that test followed with Dale Steyn’s 7for 51 that completely dismantled India’s star-studded batting line up and eventually Protease won the match by an innings and 6 runs. But the situation is very different now.
Apart from De Villiers, visitors are finding it extremely difficult to cope up with India’s eclectic spn attack in the longer format of the game. Top-ranked Protease are still confident to turn things around but they seem to be completely helpless while playing the turning deliveries of R Jadeja and R Ashwin. Both spinners have already chipped in 24 out of 30 South African wickets in three innings.
In-form Ab de Villiers is the only player who seems to be in sublime form from South African strong batting line up. In the Mohali test he scored 63 and then again followed it up with his scintillating 85-run knock at his 100th test in Bengaluru. Day by day, expectation from De Villiers is increasing and hopefully he wouldn’t disappoint his fans in Nagpur. He has got a long list of Indian fans as well who glued to their television set watching De Villiers play. Such is the magic of his class.
Historically speaking, Nagpur has always been known as batsmen’s paradise but this time spinner will get good support especially in the first two sessions of the day’s play due to change in climate. But a mixture of little caution and aggression could bring in tons and tons of runs for batsmen on this ground. Certainly, third test is the do or die battle for South Africa and the question remains can South Africa pass the Nagpur Test and defeat India?