India take on South Africa in the third Test at Wanderers today and with 0-2 down in the series, will be playing for pride here.
Team India is having a headache over the team composition as everyone is looking for Ajinkya Rahane to come into the team. However, with green pitch at the Wanderers, India might also be tempted to play 4 genuine quicks along with Pandya.
But former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has suggested that India should make KL Rahul keep wickets and have Rahane come in at no.6. This way even Rohit Sharma will also get to play in the Test and have a chance to prove his worth.
"Clearly, going into an overseas Test series with just five batsmen has not worked. Since South Africa are thinking in terms of going in with an all-pace attack, it might make sense for India to go in with Rahane and have Rahul keep wickets," Gavaskar wrote in his column for TOI. "It is a big risk but then Dinesh Karthik has not kept wickets for Tamil Nadu in every game last season. India may look to leave out Ashwin and bring in another new-ball bowler, with Pandya being the fifth bowler."
Gavaskar also called for the batsman to show better temperament in the third and final Test.
"First things first; this Indian team has always played for the pride of representing India and given everything on the field. There is no doubting their skill levels. However, it is in the 'temperament' area that their batsmen have floundered and surrendered whatever advantage their bowlers gave them," Gavaskar said. "The bowlers have bowled their hearts out, but again the fielding support has not always been as good as it should have been. That has allowed the lower order of the South African line-up to have those baby partnerships that have given the Proteas crucial extra runs.”
He continued,” The pitches have not always been good for batting, with the one in Cape Town being one where even batsmen like Kohli and de Villiers never knew which ball would have their number on it. Even in Centurion, the pitch on the last two days was an up-and-down one, so chasing 250 was not going to be easy as it turned out.”
South Africa have already won the Freedom series 2018 by winning the first two Tests in Cape Town and Centurion.