Faf du Plessis’ South Africa head into the 3rd Test of the Gandhi-Mandela trophy at Ranchi knowing that it won’t be a dead rubber. With the World Test Championships now in full flow, there will be 40 points on the line when the Proteas meet India at the JSCA International Stadium Complex.
Virat Kohli’s men will head into the game knowing that they have every chance of completing a whitewash over their visitors from the African continent. The Men in Blue won the 2nd Test in Pune by an innings and 137 runs, after winning the opening Test by a 203 run margin in Vishakhapatnam.
The 2-0 lead has helped India go top of the Test Championship with a total of 200 points. But the Blues have played two more games than second-placed New Zealand – even with that in mind, https://www.bettingsider24.com/ have India as odds-on-favourites to win the inaugural Test Championship. England are currently second-favourites, with Australia a very close third, despite the Aussies reclaiming the Ashes in the drawn series.
Du Plessis’ side is third-bottom currently with no points on the board. They are currently tied with Bangladesh and Pakistan, who have not played a single game yet.
India have had double centurions in both of the games so far. Mayank Agarwal smashed a double century at Vizag, while Kohli grabbed one of his own in Pune. The former carried on his impressive form by scoring a century in Pune.
Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also impressed in the series. He picked up six wickets in total in the last game. The Chennai man got eight in the first test and is expected to carry on from where he left off in Pune.
For South Africa, it has been very disappointing. Barring battling centuries by Quinton de Kock and Dean Elgar in Vizag, they have failed with the bat. Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander came up with fighting 50-run knocks in both the innings in Pune and if not for them, it could have got worse for the Proteas.
In the bowling department, it has been a graft for them. Kagiso Rabada did pick up three wickets in the last match, but failed to impress in the first test on what was a spinning track. Maharaj did pick up five in total in Vizag but didn’t make an impact in the previous game.
India have never done a clean sweep over South Africa in a Test series but the Ranchi game presents a huge chance. They did beat them 3-0 in the Freedom Trophy of 2015-16, but it was a 4-game series.
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.