Though India has given a good fight on a few occasion in the series, they have not been able to keep the momentum going for too long. India might come up with a couple of changes so that they can end the series on a high.
Here’s what we think could be India’s lineup for third test.
Though Murali Vijay has not been able to fire so far in the test series, he is most likely to continue opening the batting. KL Rahul who was picked ahead of Shikhar Dhawan in the second test fared poorly with the bat but despite that, he might continue as Vijay’s partner for the third test.
Murali Vijay has accumulated a total of 69 runs in 4 innings that he has played which is a huge letdown going by his standard.
Indian opening has not been able to click and that has been one of the reasons for India’s extremely poor batting performance.
There is no denying the fact that Cheteshwar Pujara has not been even 25% of his own self in the series. Though he was unlucky in the second test as he got run out in both the innings but tally of mere 49 runs in 4 innings speak volume of his struggle.
Despite a couple of poor outings, Cheteshwar Pujara will bat at number 3 and the team management will hope that the Saurashtra batsman gets going as he has been a prolific run scorer for India over the past couple of years.
Indian Captain Virat Kohli has unarguably been the best Indian Batsman and he will look to carry on the splendid form he has been in. The only Batsman in the series to get to triple figures, Virat Kohli has a daunting task up ahead to get best out of the Indian team as the Captain.
Though Rohit Sharma was picked ahead of Ajinkya Rahane on behalf of latter’s poor form, Rohit Sharma has not been able to set the stage on fire, and in fact, he has struggled and should be replaced with India’s Vice Captain who has been India’s best batsman outside the subcontinent.
Wriddhiman Saha’s injury meant a comeback for Parthiv Patel who did not have an outing to remember as he dropped a couple of catches and could not capitalize on the starts (19 in both the innings) he got with the bat. Though Dinesh Kartik has been called as the replacement for injured Saha, Parthiv Patel might get a chance ahead of the Tamil Nadu batsman as the former has been knocking selector’s door for quite a few time now.
Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya started the series on a high note with a counter-attacking 93 in the first innings of the first test but after that, he gradually faded as he was able to score a total of only 22 runs in three innings after that.
He might just continue owing to the flexibility he brings to the table with his all-round skills.
Question marks have always been raised over R. Ashwin’s performance outside the subcontinent. He has done well enough to justify his place in the team. Ashwin has had an average series with the ball so far with 7 wickets in 2 games and with the bat he has got a couple of good starts and has accumulated 80 in 4 innings.
The decision of dropping Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the second test raised quite a few eyebrows, as he had given good performances with both bat and ball. He should definitely be played for the third test, as he brings a lot of value as a handy lower order batsman as well.
Mohammed Shami has bowled a couple of really good spells and has taken 9 wickets so far, He will have to keep hitting right areas and lengths in the third test to dismantle strong South African lineup.
The debutant Jasprit Bumrah should form the part of India’s pace bowling triplet. He has looked good at times and clueless at others. He might be given another chance as he is definitely a promising future prospect for the Indian time.