India is all set to battle it out against South Africa in the final Test of the ongoing series at JSCA International Stadium Complex, tomorrow. Will the Men in Blue clean sweep the visitors in Test series?
India have already sealed the series after winning the opening two Tests comfortably and will be focussing on completing the whitewash in Ranchi. After the second Test when Virat Kohli was asked whether the Men in Blue are going to make changes to the squad. The Indian skipper said, “we are focussing on winning the third Test as well because the points are going to be added in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship”.
The Men in Blue are currently on top of the ICC World Test Championship table with 200 points. The second team on the table is New Zealand with 60 points. If India wins the final Test against the Proteas, then their tally of points will reach 240. This will also ensure that the Indian team remains on top for quite some time in the future.
After winning the second Test last week, India achieved a new feat of winning 11 consecutive Test series at home. Before this Australia had this record to their name with 10 consecutive Test series wins at home. This justifies why the Men in blue deserves to be on top of the ICC Test team ranking and Test Championship.
Virat Kohli vs Kagiso Rabada
Virat Kohli finally got back his form in Tests after scoring 254* in the second Test, which helped the Men in Blue in enforcing the follow-on. This was the first time since 2008 that a Test side forced the follow-on to the Proteas.
With his phenomenal batting in the second Test, Kohli surpassed Don Bradman to become a Test skipper with most 150+ scores (9). He also surpassed Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag for record double hundreds in Tests (7), the highest in Indian cricket history.
The Indian skipper is once again going to be in front of Kagiso Rabada. The South African pacer picked up the initial wickets of India in the second Test but failed to trouble Kohli. The Indian batsman played some beautiful strokes off Rabada that ended behind the boundary line.
Rabada has only picked four wickets in the ongoing Test series, which clearly shows the performance of the Proteas. If the pacer wants to get rid of Kohli, then he must keep troubling him and make sure he doesn’t settle. Because once Kohli gets into a rhythm there is no chance one can stop him from scoring massive score.
Ravindra Jadeja vs Dean Elgar
After playing phenomenal 160 runs inning in the first Test, Dean Elgar has failed to find the same rhythm in remaining Test matches. The South Africa opener failed to even cross 50 runs in a single inning, which depicts the current condition of the Proteas’ batting line-up.
Ravindra Jadeja, on the other hand, has picked 10 wickets in the ongoing Test series. He also dismissed Elgar in both the innings of the first Test. The Indian spinner is in great form and with Ranchi’s pitch supporting the spinners. Jadeja has a brilliant opportunity of increasing his wickets tally and winning the match for his side.
The Indian spinner took nine Test wickets against Australia at this pitch in 2014, which indicates how deadly he is going to be in the final Test.
If Elgar wants his side to give a tough competition to the hosts, then he has to score big. The Indian spinners will keep troubling him, but the batsman has to take care of the one end and make the Indian bowlers struggle for his wicket.
The pitch is dry, which means we will see spinners making a lot of impact in this match. We might also see some reverse swing in this fixture, which will make this match a bit interesting.
Indian batsmen are in brilliant form in comparison to the visitors. The Proteas have struggled a lot in the current Test series, and we are expecting it to continue in the final Test.
The South Africa bowlers failed miserably in the second Test and they would be willing to create problems for the Indian batsmen in the last Test of the tour.
After considering all the points, Cricwizz believes that India will comfortably clinch victory in the final Test and will whitewash the Proteas to increase their points tally in the ICC World Test Championship.