With the VCA Stadium pitch in Jamtha here sporting a dry look and promising to offer copious turn to spinners, another low-scoring cat-and-mouse contest is on the cards in the penultimate game of the series with India holding the aces because of its superior spin attack. Both the teams would be a bit rusty going into the game with no play being possible in the second Test at Bengaluru after the opening day's proceedings following the end of the first Test in Mohali inside three days.

Having knocked down the visitors for scores of 184, 109 and 214 in the three completed South African innings so far in the series, the Indian spin attack poses the biggest threat to the visitors in this do-or-die game which they must win to keep the contest alive for the fourth and last match at Delhi. Barring the odd wicket to the medium pacers or to a run-out, the Indian spinners have done the bulk of the damage against a side which has played them with a lot of concern and suspicion.

The key to South Africa turning around the fortunes is the willingness of their batsmen to confront the spin threat posed by Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on a track that could be tailor-made for them. Leg spinner Amit Mishra is also expected to regain his spot in the playing eleven after being left out in the second Test and the triple spin attack is again going to test the nerves of South African batsmen.

South Africa's ODI captain AB de Villiers has been the one to lead the way with a classy 85 at Bengaluru on his milestone 100th Test match.

Unless the Proteas batsmen, especially captain Hashim Amla and Faf du Plussis, strike form and take on the Indian spinners to lend support to de Villiers, their proud achievement of not having lost a Test rubber overseas since 2006 in Sri Lanka is under serious threat. South Africa would hope that a return to this venue would help their skipper, who did not score many runs in the preceding T20 and ODI rubbers too.

The Proteas are also faced with the groin injury to their premier fast bowler Steyn, who is doubtful for the upcoming Test after he had sat out of the previous one in Bengaluru. South Africa have flown in the tall Marchant de Lange as a cover for Steyn, but it remains to be seen whether he will take the field without having had sufficient preparations, in case the latter is ruled out.

South Africa will have to hold their nerves in the game here if they want to win the make-or-break battle.

Teams (from):

India:  Virat Kohli (Captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Stuart Binny and Gurkeerat Singh Mann.

South Africa: Hashim Amla (Captain), AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, JP Duminy, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas, Dane Piedt, Simon Harmer, Imran Tahir, Dale Styen, Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada, Marchant de Lange.

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