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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli in splits after du Plessis’ ‘proxy captain’ theory fails at toss of 3rd Test in Ranchi

The luck did not change much for Faf du Plessis despite bringing in ‘proxy captain’ Temba Bavuma, as the Indian captain Virat Kohli went on to win the toss and elected to bat in the 3rd Test in Ranchi.

cricket Updated: Oct 20, 2019 07:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India captain Virat Kohli could not control his laughter at toss of the 3rd Test against South Africa
India captain Virat Kohli could not control his laughter at toss of the 3rd Test against South Africa(screen grab)

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis’s record at the toss in away Tests has not been great. Before the third Test in Ranchi against India, the Proteas skipper had lost six tosses in his last six matches. At the pre-match press conference, Du Plessis said that he might bring in his deputy Temba Bavuma for the toss on Saturday morning for a change in luck. Bavuma, indeed came into the middle for the toss with du Plessis and made the call when India captain Virat Kohli flipped the coin.

However, the luck did not change much for Faf, as the Indian captain went on to win the toss and elected to bat, immediately afterwards. “It shows that it isn’t meant to be (about using Bavuma as a proxy skipper for luck). 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 skipper said.



South Africa made five changes to their playing XI and handed debuts to two youngsters. They brought in Heinrich Klaasen (debut), George Linde (debut), Lungi Ngidi, Zubayr Hamza, and Dane Piedt. Apart from the injured opener Aiden Markram, they have left out Vernon Philander, Theunis de Bruyn, Senuran Muthusamy and Keshav Maharaj.

India, who, lead the series 2-0, have handed Test debut to local man Shahbaz Nadeem, resting paceman Ishant Sharma.

Kohli, at the toss, called the decision to bat, a “no-brainer”. “It’s a no-brainer to bat first on this one. 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.

Also read: Nadeem makes Test debut out of nowhere in India vs South Africa 3rd Test at Ranchi

Speaking on thej team changes, he added: “Just one change - Ishant has been given a break. Shahbaz Nadeem makes his debut. Two seamers for reversing the ball. Unfortunately, Kuldeep couldn’t pull up. We checked on him yesterday but he didn’t respond well enough from his shoulder niggle. Nadeem is the local boy and it’s a dream debut.”

Playing XIs

India: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen (w), George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi

(With inputs from agencies)