South Africa vs India 3rd Test: Pitch report
India are on the back-foot, having lost the series 2-0 to South Africa. Kohli & Co. are now playing for pride and would try to avoid a whitewash. Having won the toss, India have opted to bat first, and have gone with no spinners. Rahane finally gets a chance, comes in for Rohit, while Bhuvi is back in for Ashwin. Here is our pitch-report.
Wanderers set for an exciting showdown
The Wanderers in Johannesburg is one of the iconic stadiums in South Africa. Inaugurated in 1956, the stadium boasts a capacity of 34,000 and is one of the most intimidating grounds for an away team cross the globe. Baking under the sun, the green tracks here are hard, dry and offer plenty of bounce, providing a lot of seam movement up front.
How does the pitch at the Wanderers behave?
The Wanderers, historically, is known as a haven for fast bowlers. The green grass covering the pitch, which is called 'Green Mamba' by the South Africans, offers great assistance to the seam bowlers. Indian bowlers have claimed 20 wickets in both the matches so far and the pitch here might have more to offer. The ground is not known to aid spinners.
Team batting first has the better record
A total of 34 Test matches have been played here and the team batting first has won 15 matches while the team bowling first has won 9 matches. The highest score recorded in this ground is 652/7 by Australia in 2002. The lowest score was by Pakistan in 2013, when they were bowled out for 49 in the first innings.
Kohli claims Wanderers has been special to India
"I always love playing at this stadium, I feel really good when I walk into this ground. We are looking to correct all the mistakes that have happened. Wanderers has been a special venue for us, hopefully, we can play the same kind of cricket."
India are unbeaten at The Wanderers
The outfield at the ground is lightning quick, so there might be something for the batsmen as well. The home team has won 14 times here, whereas the away team has won just 10 games. India are yet to be beaten in the 5-day format at the Wanderers. They have a win and three draws to their name at this ground.