Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin spin bowling will hold the key in the third Test match in Nagpur.Reuters

The India team has been a huge force in the Test series, currently leading the four-match Test series 1-0 after their first Test win in Mohali. India started the second Test brilliantly as well, with the spinning track supporting India bowlers, but rain played spoilsport as the game did not move beyond the first day's play.

With the third Test set to start in Nagpur on Wednesday, the track will once again hold centre stage, and if Indian cricketer Subramaniam Badrinath is to be believed, the pitch is going to assist spinners.

"Having seen the nature of the Jamtha track for the last couple of years, (I believe) the odds are certainly in favour of India. The track here doesn't provide much bounce. As the game progresses, it assists the spinners more and more. Considering the weather in Nagpur, it's difficult to make the wicket which provides bounce," The Times of India quoted Badrinath as saying.

"The surface isn't that hard where you can provide good bounce. The bounce keeps getting lower and lower as the game goes on. I feel this track will test South African batsmen's skills," he said.

South Africa have failed to tackle India spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindar Jadeja, who have taken 12 wickets each in the series so far. If the spin duo is provided with another pitch that promises turn, they will be itching to have a go at the South Africa batsmen.

The Proteas have to apply themselves at the batting crease more and find a way to score runs against the spinners. Batsmen such as Faf du Plessis have struggled in the Test series, as his scores of 0, 1 and 0 suggest. Hence the likes of him and Hashim Amla have to shoulder more responsibility with the bat.

South Africa's major strength has always been their pace battery. The pitch, if there is anything for the pacemen, could assist fast bowlers who can get the ball to reverse.

Badrinath wants the India batsmen to be wary of the ball reversing in Nagpur. Dale Steyn can make the old ball talk and rip apart the India line-up.

"The only trump card for South Africa will be reverse swing. It tends to reverse in Jamtha, and that's the one thing the Indian batsmen should be wary of. I think Steyn's spell last time here was remarkable. He reversed the ball magically," said Badrinath.

However, India will not lose sleep over it, but needs to be careful. If there is anything for the fast bowlers, especially reverse swing, expect Ishant Sharma to be in the thick of action for India as he is a good with the older ball.

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