India win toss and elect to bat In the third test v S Africa

CAPE TOWN : India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat first in overcast conditions against hosts South Africa ahead of the decisive third and final test at Newlands on Tuesday.

Kohli, playing in his 99th test, returns to the side after missing his team’s seven-wicket loss in Johannesburg due to back spasms, and is hoping to lead the tourists to their first series win in South Africa with the score level at 1-1.

He comes into the side for Hanuma Vihari, with the only other change a return for seamer Umesh Yadav in place of Mohammed Siraj, who picked up a hamstring injury last time out.

“The pitch looks nice, it has grass on it but runs on the board at this venue has worked out well in the past. We will utilise the skill of our bowlers to put pressure on them after that,” Kohli said at the toss.

“It was a tough decision whether to play Ishant (Sharma) or Umesh, but he has bowled very well recently.”

South Africa captain Dean Elgar conceded he would have batted first too but is hopeful the conditions will help his seam attack on the first morning.

“Ideally you want to bat first here at Newlands but saying that the overhead conditions make it not a bad thing to bowl first. I am not too displeased,” Elgar said.

South Africa, who have now lost 15 or their last 16 tosses in tests, go into the match with an unchanged XI from the victory in Johannesburg.

India, who won the first test in Pretoria by 113 runs, have never won at Newlands in five previous visits. They have lost three and drawn two of those fixtures.


South Africa: Dean Elgar (capt.), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreyne, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi

India: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt.), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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