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Pressure on Delhi curators after ICC rebuke: India vs South Africa, 4th Test Prediction

[box type=”shadow” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]Prediction: Though India are struggling at 88 for the loss of three wickets, India will survive even if they get all out early. South Africa will at times come up with lethal elements to dismantle Indian chances and this saga of ups and downs may eventually lead to the first draw of the series. All said and done we go with first favourite, the Draw and then second favourite, India. .[/box]
Hashim Amla will have to lead from the front as the Proteas play for pride in Delhi (Photo Courtesy: crictale.com)
Hashim Amla will have to lead from the front as the Proteas play for pride in Delhi. (Photo Courtesy: Crictale) 

Plenty of issues have resurfaced since India sealed the series and ended South Africa’s cherished away record in Nagpur. (Read what happened here.) The International Cricket Council have issued a notice to BCCI after match referee Jeff Crowe had rated the pitch at the VCA Stadium as ‘poor’.

Team India Director Ravi Shastri had publicly blamed batsmen from both sides for the woeful batting performances in a Test in which the highest score was Murali Vijay’s 40 in the 1st innings. While South Africa skipper Hashim Amla called the surface as the toughest that he had played on, his counterpart Virat Kohli did not see anything wrong in utilizing the home advantage.

The ICC’s decision to categorically slam the Nagpur surface, while refusing to blame the Nottingham pitch in which Australia were bowled out for 60 under seaming conditions during the 2015 Ashes, comes across as a completely unprofessional act from cricket’s apex body.

In an era where every team prepares pitches which suit their strengths, India being victimized for producing a vicious turner is totally uncalled for. After all, winning away from home on ‘doctored pitches’ is seen as the greatest achievement in Test cricket.

Therefore, DDCA and their curators will be under immense pressure, as the pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium will be methodically scrutinized by cricket experts from across the world. As a result, a harder surface is expected in order to ensure that the match lasts the full distance.

The home team should be keen on continuing with their spin troika who have maintained a rigorous stranglehold over the Proteas. Depite being woefully out of form, Shikhar Dhawan should get his captain’s backing in Delhi. Although the batting unit has looked unconvincing so far, changes appear unlikely. If Kohli feels that the surface demands an extra bowler, then Rohit Sharma’s spot could be under the scanner.

South Africa will look to their leader Amla for inspiration both on and off the field. The team management is also under severe duress as they contemplate the necessity to risk their pace spearhead Dale Steyn, who is recuperating from a groin strain. The visitors would want their experienced batsmen to rise to the occasion and counter the turning ball.

India vs South Africa, Predicted Lineups

India

Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma

South Africa

Dean Elgar, Dane Vilas (WK), Hashim Amla (C), AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, JP Duminy, Simon Harmer, Dale Steyn/Marchant De Lange, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir

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