Ranchi, India, Oct 19 (AFP/APP): India’s Virat Kohli elected to bat for the third straight time after South Africa’s attempt to beat their bad luck at the toss with Temba Bavuma in the final Test Saturday.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis brought his deputy Bavuma to call the toss in an effort to change his side’s fortunes but South Africa went on to lose its 10th successive coin flip in Asian Tests.
The hosts, who have already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, made just one change to their starting line-up from the previous win on Sunday.
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has been handed his international debut after being added to the squad late Friday in place of injured Kuldeep Yadav.
Nadeem come in to the side in place of paceman Ishant Sharma.
“Like a typical Ranchi wicket. It’s a no-brainer to bat first on this one,” said captain Kohli.
“I don’t think it’s gonna be slow but it will keep lower than Pune maybe. Should spin at a decent pace. As long as it turns with pace on the ball, we don’t mind the bounce.”
“It isn’t meant to be,” Du Plessis said of his long losing streak.
“Important toss as this looks the driest surface of the series. It’s about the first innings really and we need to put runs on the board when we bat.”
The Proteas made five changes to their starting line-up, with Zubayr Hamza, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Lungi Ngidi and Dane Piedt added.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi
Umpires: Richard Illingworth (ENG), Nigel Llong (ENG)
TV Umpire: Chris Gaffaney (NZL)
Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIS).