Fourth Test Preview: India v South Africa


With the series already in the bag for hosts India, visitors South Africa will have to do a lot of head scratching before the fourth and final Test in Delhi, where their batsmen and general team selections will be under close scrutiny.

The Proteas' batting unit has struggled on the dustbowl surfaces in the series so far and will have to find a way to counter the home team's spinners.

Reserve batsman Temba Bavuma might get game as he has been carrying the drinks for the first three matches and is actually a good player of spin as shown when he scored a gritty fifty against Bangladesh in Chittagong in July.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn, who has not played in the last two Tests because of a groin injury, will most likely not be risked for what is essentially a dead rubber as the Proteas have a big series at home against England just around the corner.

Spinner Dane Piedt should surely get a game with Simon Harmer struggling to make the necessary impact on the India batting line up on spin friendly decks.

The hosts will just keep things the way they are as everything seems to going according to plan for Virat Kohli's men.

The only conundrum they face would be to play two or three spinners in the starting team, with legpinner Amit Mishra and seamer Varon Aaron competing for one place.

Key players

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been the main threat to the Proteas batsmen throughout the series, having picked up a whopping 24 wickets in the three matches. With another turning surface on the cards, expect Ashwin to wreak havoc again.

AB de Villiers has been the only Proteas batsman that has looked the most likely to score runs against India's slow bowlers although captain Hashim Amla spent some valuable time in the middle in the second innings of the last Test.

Last Five Head-To-Head Results

2015 Third Test: India won by 124 runs in Nagpur
2015 Second Test: Match drawn in Bangalore
2015 First Test: India won by 108 runs in Mohali
2013 Second Test: South Africa won by 10 wickets in Durban
2013 First Test: Match drawn in Johannesburg


India: Virat Kohli (capt), M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma

South Africa: Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Temba Bavuma, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Simon Harmer, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas, Kyle Abbott, Marchant de Lange


Dates: 03 – 07 December
Morning session: 09:30-12:00 (04:00-02:00 GMT)
Afternoon session: 12:40-14:40 (02:40-04:40 GMT)
Evening session: 15:00-17:00 (05:00-07:00 GMT)

On-field umpires: Kumar Dharmasena and Bruce Oxenford
Third umpire: Ian Gould
Match referee: Jeff Crowe