Ranchi, OCT 19 (AP/UNB) — India won the toss and opted to bat in the third and final test against South Africa on Saturday.
It was the third straight toss-win in the series for skipper Virat Kohli, with India having already sealed the series with comprehensive wins at Visakhapatnam and Pune.
The Proteas made five changes to their line-up after suffering massive defeats in the first two tests. Aiden Markram was forced out after injuring his wrist in Pune. Quinton de Kock moves up the order and will open, with keeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen coming in.
Left-arm unorthodox wrist spinner George Linde makes his debut in place of injured Keshav Maharaj, who was ruled out owing to a shoulder injury sustained in Pune.
After two lacklustre outings, Vernon Philander makes way for Lungi Ngidi. Similarly, Zubayr Hamza comes in at number three for Theunis de Bruyn. Dane Piedt replaces Senuran Muthusamy with the Proteas maintaining their line-up of three pacemen.
India rested Ishant Sharma. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem makes his test debut. He was included in the squad late on Friday in place of injured Kuldeep Yadav.
Nadeem, who plays domestic cricket for Jharkhand, plays his maiden test at his home ground.
This is the second test at the JSCA International Stadium. The pitch usually keeps low and slow, and is expected to take turn as the match progresses.
Despite low prices, only 1500 tickets were sold until Thursday, causing concern for the hosting state association.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Dane Piedt, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, George Linde, Anrich Nortje.