Boils down to mental approach towards the decider if Kohli’s men are to succeed in uncharted territory
The trick is in the mind. The decisive match here in Newlands will be one of the biggest matches for India in its test history.
A victory here and they will achieve what no other Indian team has achieved. Win a series of tests in South Africa.
Can India occupy the last frontier?
The 1-1 streak will put a lot of pressure on the Indian team. This is an opportunity to tick a really big box.
But then the Indians will have to do a good job of removing the Final Frontier element from their minds and handling the crucial element like any other Test match, starting on January 11th.
So that they can play more freely in this sunny city and sea.
However, India's obsession with long and fast bowlers, citing them as a reason why fast bowlers buy less pitch in the Wanderers' second trial, is little more than a clever disguise.
If height was really a factor, how did Chardol Thakur, India's youngest fast shooter, with Mohamed Shami score seven first-half runs and work his way through the South African squad?
And no Protea player, regardless of height, took seven stakes in the Test or cast a more devastating spell.
Forget the height. These are the areas where you go bowling. If India's bowlers, regardless of their height, had consistently hit cracks, as Chardol did in the first innings in South Africa, India would have won.
And when testing resumed on the fourth day, the ground was very dry. In any case, the ball was cleaned and dried with a towel before each shot.
How do Indian fast-hitting shooters from South Africa hit the body so many times if the ball is really slippery? Can you do that with a slippery ball?
Logic and common sense go out the window when looking for excuses from a win-win situation.
Anyway, the past is the past, and looking to the future, given the crucial event in Newlands, India needs to choose a replacement for Muhammad Siraj.
A hamstring injury, especially for a fast bowler, can make a comeback, and India certainly shouldn't risk Sarraj in the crucial match.
So it is all about choosing between Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.
Ishant is slowing down, not dropping, and not at its best lately.
However, when he finds his groove, he can still throw a nice bouncy streak.
And following current Indian thinking, who yearns for higher runners, Ishant might get the nod.
He said Umesh made a little mistake in the chances he had. He's a faster, more versatile player, has a nice slingshot, can return the ball, and he's definitely faster than Ishant.
In fact, when he had a rare opportunity against England in the Oval League last year, Umesh, who played with fire and fired three strikes per turn, was instrumental in India's victory.
He made his first test for India with Joe Root and David Malan.
But after that, Umesh will likely be ruled out again.
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