IND vs SA: Harbhajan suggests out-of-the-box change in India's Playing XI for 3rd Test, says 'it is very important'

Updated on Jan 10, 2022 05:14 PM IST

Ahead of the third and deciding Test between India and South Africa, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has come up with an out-of-the-box suggestion for the Newlands Test.

The Indian cricket team ahead of the Newlands Test. (BCCI)
The Indian cricket team ahead of the Newlands Test. (BCCI)
By, New Delhi

With the series on the line, the Indian team is all set to make two changes in their Playing XI for the third and deciding Test against South Africa in Cape Town starting Tuesday. With captain Virat Kohli returning and Mohammed Siraj injured, it is certain that India will be making a couple of tweaks to their Playing XI from Johannesburg.

While it is certain that Hanuma Vihari is likely to make way for the returning Kohli, who replaces Siraj will be interesting to see. The obvious candidate is Ishant Sharma, but Umesh Yadav too could be tried out given his impressive show against New Zealand at home last month. 

But while all possibilities hint towards a fast bowler coming in, resulting in a like for like replacement for Siraj, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has come up with an out-of-the-box suggestion for the Newlands Test.

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"Cape Town will present India their biggest chance of winning this series. It is very important for India to play two spinners here. I believe that on this pitch, spinners have always enjoyed a lot of assistance," Harbhajan said in a video posted on his YouTube channel on Monday.

Citing his own example, Harbhajan reckons why two spinners and three pacers could be the way forward for India in the decider. In 2011, Harbhajan registered impressive figures of 7/120, including the wickets of Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla among the top four South Africa batters.

Harbhajan's seven and Sachin Tendulkar's century helped India to a draw in the Newlands Test and the experienced spinner believes having R Ashwin and one more spinner operating from the other end could make the hosts sweat.

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"Every time I have played here, my best analysis have come at this venue. I picked up seven wickets in an innings in Cape Town. Even other spinners have performed well. So India too I feel should field two spinners at this venue. Who partners Ashwin from the other end is something Rahul Dravid and the team management will have to ponder," added Harbhajan.

If India are to go in with a second spinner, Jayant Yadav could come in as a replacement for the injured Siraj.  

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