India will try to avoid a complete series white wash when they go up against the Proteas one last time in the Test battle at the Wanderers. The hosts have fielded four quicks in each of the first two Tests along with their sole specialist spinner, Keshav Maharaj, but may bench Maharaj in favour of a fifth seamer on what is expected to be a spicy surface.
"It's definitely something we're speaking about in our selection. Your disciplines as a batsman become important", du Plessis said. "The wicket looks like it should be a normal Wanderers wicket".
After all the controversy in Centurion, the boys wanted to have a look at the pitch and have a chat with curator Buthelezi who told CricketNext that the Proteas were happy with the wicket and it would have pace and bounce, just how the home team likes. "If we do think of leaving of him out, you have to be 100% sure that we have enough".
"Our errors, our mistakes of not capitalising on situations has led to the series being 2-0", he said.
On the one occasion where conditions were particularly bowler-friendly, in 2006/07, South Africa was beaten at its own game.
This is where, in December 2013, in India's first Test without Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli sat, having scored a century on day one of the series, aware of the presence of South Africa bowling coach Allan Donald in the room as he waited for Kohli's press conference to finish.
In an interview to The Indian Express, just after his retirement, he had said: "Say something like a KP (Kevin Pietersen) issue was on and you know what they want to ask you". "By no means is anyone in the team thinking this is an opportunity to take our foot off the gas. We are really motivated to get a 3-0 win".
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But there are some cautionary tales South Africa need to bear in mind before going all guns blazing in the series finale.
Ravi Shastri admits that India should've had another ten days of practice. "We shouldn't be in positions back home where you have to fight back, as far as I am concerned", said Shastri. Yet, Rahul couldn't get going in the only Test he played, looking out of sorts as South Africa's pacers laid out their landmines on the pitch. I nearly want to tell them, please ask the question and save everyone the trouble. "The good thing though is people won't crib and moan when matches in India get over in two and a half days". India will be buoyed by their impressive record at Centurion, the team hasn't lost a Test there from 1992/3 and would like to keep that stat intact.
Du Plessis only expects it to get tougher at the Wanderers, especially for a player like de Kock, who prefers flamboyance over fastidiousness.
In the seven wickets loss to England two years ago‚ SA went with Morne Morkel‚ Hardus Viljoen‚ Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris with Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Elgar assisting them with the slower ball. "Hopefully we will get that".
"For me, it will be about keeping their batsmen under pressure".
Captain Virat Kohli, the only player to score a century in the series, was especially disappointed with their display in Pretoria on a wicket that was more suited to their game than South Africa's.