South Africa's 2-0 lead over India in the three-match ODI series means that the series has been done and dusted and all that's left is for the hosts to continue their impressive performances and rattle the Indian side some more before their Test series commences.
What: South Africa vs. India, third one-day international
Where: Supersport Park, Centurion
When: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 11:30 a.m. GMT (1:30 p.m. SAST)
Live Stream/TV info: SuperSport 2
Weather: The weather in Gauteng has been strangely stormy and cold over the last week and although temperatures will rise slightly on Wednesday, there will be quite a few storms around, according to Accuweather. Heavy rain is expected in the morning but should clear in time for the start of play.
It's been a tale of two teams, as the cliche goes. South Africa's efforts have seen them being ruthless, relentless and dominant while India have surrendered meekly and have been rattled by the pressure of the hosts.
Although the batting from the Proteas fell flat on its face after a solid foundation set by Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, the top order pair have been outstanding. In the first ODI, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy joined them in the batting prowess, but as a complete batting unit, South Africa haven't quite clicked.
Centurion will, once again, be in favour of the bowlers, but that should hardly trouble the South African batsmen. India's bowlers haven't quite figured out how to exploit the extra pace and bounce. Some of that might have been because they had no warm up games and after now having some time to adjust to the foreign soil, they might offer a bigger a challenge for the Proteas' batsmen in the third and final ODI.
It is important for the hosts, from a batting perspective, to find some impetus and limit their reliance on the two top order players, especially heading into a tough Test series. For India, it's a chance to prove—in both the batting and the bowling department—that they are not as inept in foreign conditions as many have predicted they would be.
From a team perspective, South Africa will be without Jacques Kallis who has been released from the squad, and with no additional player being called up his slot is most likely to be filled by an additional bowler.
AB de Villiers will play a vital role in shepherding the middle order and although he had a rare blip in the second game, his experience and flamboyant hitting will be crucial for the South Africans. Without the gloves, de Villiers has looked like he is back to playing his natural game and he'll get the chance to do that again on Wednesday.
MS Dhoni has been India's lone-batting ranger and he will have to do so once again if India have any hope of being competitive. He's one of just three Indian players who have managed more than 50 runs across the two ODIs and his experience and captaincy will be key for the visitors.
AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c and wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane.
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