Newlands Test: India elect to bat, Virat Kohli returns
South Africa and India are squaring off in the 3rd Test at Newlands, Cape Town. India are vying for their first-ever Test series win in South Africa. They won the series opener in Centurion, but SA bounced back in Johannesburg. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has returned after missing the 2nd Test with a back spasm. He has won the toss and elected to bat.
Here are the two teams
India (Playing XI): KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav. South Africa (Playing XI): Dean Elgar (captain), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynne (wicket-keeper), Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi.
Umesh Yadav replaces injured Mohammed Siraj
Middle-order batter Hanuma Vihari has made way for Indian skipper Kohli. Meanwhile, fast bowler Umesh Yadav replaces Mohammed Siraj, who suffered a hamstring injury in the second Test. The Indian team management has preferred Umesh over the experienced Ishant Sharma. The former last played against New Zealand at home (December 2021). Besides, South Africa have not altered their Playing XI.
Kohli returns to lead Team India
Kohli returns to lead India. In Centurion, he became the first Indian captain to win two Tests in SA. Kohli could now be the only Indian captain to win a Test series in the nation. He could register his 41st Test win as captain. Kohli is behind Graeme Smith (53), Ricky Ponting (48), and Steve Waugh (41) on the overall list.
Key details about the match
Newlands in Cape Town will host the third Test. It will begin at 2:00 PM IST. Newlands is one of the few grounds in South Africa where the wicket assists spinners. Nevertheless, fast bowlers are always in action here. One can watch the match live on the Star Sports Network and stream the same on the Hotstar app (paid subscription).
SA vs India: Three-match series leveled at 1-1
India registered their fourth-ever win in South Africa after winning the first Test in Centurion. The visitors won by 113 runs. The Proteas bounced back, claiming an emphatic win in Johannesburg. Dean Elgar led from the front as SA chased down 240 on a tricky surface. Both teams will be all guns blazing in Cape Town as the series remains leveled at 1-1.
India yet to win a Test at Newlands
India have won only four matches in South Africa as of now. They have lost six (1992/92, 1996/97, 2001/02, 2006/07, 2013/14, 2017/18) and drawn one series (2010/11) in the nation. Notably, India are yet to win a Test at Newlands, Cape Town.