India, Proteas in series face-off on batsman, spin friendly Cape Town pitch

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cape Town (S. Africa), - With the series between India and South Africa tied one all, both teams will face off in the decider at the Newlands from Sunday (January 2).

The pitch is expected to be batsman-friendly with spin expected to play a part later on.

South African batsmen can be expected to put up a better show than what they did at Durban, where they lost by over 80 runs.

Their bowlers - Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Jacques Kallis, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Paul Harris picked up a few wickets, and it would be interesting to see how they perform at the Newlands with the Indian batsmen gaining in form.

From the Indian perspective, Zaheer Khan’s presence in the squad is likely to makes a difference again to India’s chances of nailing its first series win in South Africa.

In batting, India will welcome the return of opener Gautam Gambhir, who had to sit out of the second Test with an injured hand. He is due for a big knock. The bowlers could be the deciding factor in this match.

The curator predicts a pitch with tennis-ball bounce, which will be good for batting - particularly on days two and three - and offer spin on days four and five. The sun and the mountain peak should emerge during the match days.

South Africa: (probables): Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher (wk), Paul Harris, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe

India (probables): Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Cheteshwar Pujara, M S Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth. (ANI)

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