Ravindra Jadeja R Ashwin Amit Mishra India
Spin is expected to dominate this third Test match between India and South AfricaReuters

Batting will hold the key as India and South Africa, hopefully, play some cricket on the field when the third Test match begins in Nagpur on Wednesday.

After watching four days drowned by a dreary drizzle in Bengaluru, it is now onto the sunnier confines of the VCA Stadium in Nagpur, with this Test match wicket expected to do one thing primarily – aid the spinners.

And how this Test match will go will depend on how those willow-wielders play spin, particularly South Africa, who have found it tough going, unless, of course, you go by the name of AB De Villiers.

"We haven't played our best cricket," South Africa captain Hashim Amla said, while also revealing his premier pace bowler Dale Steyn would miss a second match because of a groin injury. "It hasn't been the free-flowing cricket that we are used to, and hopefully in Nagpur we can get onto the field and give the character performance that South Africa is known for.

"I think being down certainly makes it a must-win game for us if we want to win the series. We came here to try and win the series. The issue has been with the lack of runs more than the wickets, so hopefully we get the runs on the board and continue to play the game till the end."

India lead the four-match series 1-0, after winning the first Test comfortably in Mohali, before the second one in Bangalore was washed out. India were in pole position to take a 2-0 lead after day one of that second Test, with South Africa's batting failing again.

That is not to say India's have done really well. Apart from a couple of decent innings from Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, none of the other batsmen have really made their mark. India only barely crossed 200 in both innings of the first Test, and what might have been a solid innings in Bangalore was snuffed out by rain.

The India batsmen have also not looked too comfortable playing spin, particularly Ajinkya Rahane, who seems to have the habit of sticking that bat out well in front of the pad, making him an ideal candidate for a wicket to the spinners.

Rahane needs to step up when needed in this Test with the bat, even if he has done splendid work in the field. Another player who needs those runs flowing off his bat is Virat Kohli, with the skipper not at his best so far, even if he only has played two innings.

Shikhar Dhawan showed semblance of his form returning in that cut-short innings in Bengaluru, and if the left-hander can score big, it will set the tone for the rest of the batsmen.

India have dominated this Test series so far thanks largely to their spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The pitch in Nagpur is again expected to be a turner, which means these two (and Amit Mishra, if he plays) will need to be the wreckers-in-chief.

South Africa need to bat well; so do India. The team that does that better will walk away with a victory from this Test match.

Where to Watch Live

Get the story on India's batting HERE

Get the Day 1 Score and report HERE

India vs South Afirca 3rd Test is scheduled for a 9.30 am IST (4 am GMT, 6 am SAST, 12 am ET) start. Live coverage of the Test match in India will be on Star Sports 1,Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD3. The match can also be watched via live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.

Viewers in South Africa can watch South Africa play India live on SuperSport, with the online live stream option on SuperSport Live.

Audience in the US can watch India vs South Africa 3rd Test match live on Willow TV, and the action can also live streamed on Willow TV online.

Sky Sports 2 is the place to be to watch India vs South Africa live in the UK, with the live streaming online option on Watch Sky Sports.

OSN Sports and OSN Play will broadcast the third Test match in the Middle East and North Africa live.

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