South Africa will be eying change of fortunes when they lock horns against India in the third Test at JSCA Stadium Complex in Ranchi starting Saturday. The Proteas conceded the three-match series following heavy defeats in Vizag and Pune and India will now aim to complete a series whitewash and take a massive lead at the top in World Test Championships. Faf du Plessis’ troops will look to end the series on a high with a good performance in Ranchi, however, things aren’t going to be easy for them against an in-form Indian team.
South African batsmen haven’t been among the runs and that is a major cause for concern for them. Dean Elgar is the visitors’ top scorer in the series with 216 runs in four innings. By contrast, India have three players who have scored in excess of 300 and the trio have played just three innings in the series o far.
Proteas’ dependence on Elgar has been apparent but India posses a lethal weapon in their ranks to negate the effect of the southpaw. Premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin holds an impeccable record against Elgar and that will certainly play on the mind of batsman when the two face each other in the upcoming match.
Ashwin has dismissed Elgar six times in Tests, the most by a bowler in the longest format.
Also, Ashwin has removed du Plessis five times in Test and this is also the most by any bowler to dismiss the South African skipper in this format.
Ashwin has been sensational form in the series and he is currently the leading wicket-taker after the conclusion of first two Tests. The tweaker has scalped 14 wickets to take the top spot while teammate Ravindra Jadeja remains at number two with 10 scalps.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma (vc), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, George Linde, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second.