The third and the final Test match between India and South Africa will be played at Newlands in Cape Town from January 2, 2010. The series is tantalisingly poised at 1-1. After the first two matches of the series were shared, there will be much to play for in this game. The momentum is definitely with India but they would know well that in recent times there is no such thing as momentum. They were gone down 0-1 to South Africa in Test series before equalling it, while doing the same against Sri Lanka this year as well. Even around the world, there have been many instances in recent times that tell us that the side is as good as they perform on the day.
South Africa have an excellent record at this ground in Cape Town. They have not lost single non-Australia game since making a comeback to international cricket and will look to continue their winning streak here. They had beaten the Indians in a hard-fought game the last time the two sides had played and the easy track may make it difficult for the Indian bowlers. Despite the score-line reading what it is, the Indians have been let down by their batting. Virender Sehwag has floundered his starts while the form of Rahul Dravid will be a major concern given that he bats at the number three position. Gautam Gambhir’s recovery from his injury is good news for India and he will replace Murali Vijay.
There is something interesting about the manner in which Sachin Tendulkar has batted in the four innings so far. There has been an evident show of aggression with the bat and this has been despite the seaming and bouncing tracks. He got to his 50th century playing his strokes but also got out cheaply on the other occasions. He will need to pull some shots out of his repertoire on such track to be able to get to another big one here. South Africa will rely heavily on Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis, both of who fell without troubling the scorers too much in the second game. Amla looked a tad loose while Kallis was unlucky in both innings; run-out at the non-striker’s end in one and caught off an unplayable snorter in the other innings. The home team will be favourites to win this game but if they fail to do so, it will be their second major high-profile series in as many years they wouldn’t have won and heads could roll.
South Africa: (probable): 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Ashwell Prince, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Paul Harris, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe
India (probable): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Cheteshwar Pujara, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Sreesanth
Match Timings: Jan 02, 2010 (10:30 local | 08:30 GMT | 14:00 IST)
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