India named an unchanged squad for the remaining two Tests against South Africa after the second match of the four-Test series ended in a draw on Wednesday (18).
Pace duo Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh, who did not feature in the playing XI and were released to play Ranji Trophy matches, have returned to the fold.
India lead the series 1-0, having beaten South Africa inside three days in Mohali before settling for a draw in Bangalore.
Nagpur hosts the third Test from next Wednesday (25), while Delhi is scheduled to stage the final Test from December 3.
South African AB de Villiers’ 100th Test fizzled out into a tame draw with cyclonic rains and a wet outfield wiping out a fourth successive day in the second Test between India and South Africa at Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The match had already seen three rained-out days on the trot and the morning drizzle prompted the match officials to call off play around lunch time, with only 81 overs of the Test bowled.
India dominated what little play was possible on day one, bowling out South Africa for 214 before openers Shikhar Dhawan (45) and Murali Vijay (28) raised 80 runs without being separated.
“It’s a pity that we lost four days of the test match after being in such a strong position,” rued home captain Virat Kohli.
“Other than that, we have a lot of positives that we can take from day one, the biggest being Shikhar’s knock of 45-odd, him getting back into the flow and among the runs.
“He is an impact player, he has done the job for us in the past and he is a very dangerous player. To have him back in confidence is always a boost for the team,” said Kohli who is leading India in his first home series.
His counterpart Hashim Amla was happy for De Villiers whose fluent 85 was the lone bright spot in the visitors’ poor batting display even though the Proteas skipper felt the match could have gone either way.
“We did not do that very well but I think the game was poised. You just never know on day two or three how the game would have panned out,” Amla said.
Beaten inside three days on a turning track in the series opener in Mohali, South Africa betrayed spin vulnerability in Bangalore as well with eight of them succumbing to the Indian spinners in their first innings.
Amla said the team would strive to play better cricket in Nagpur.
“We got a long layoff for these rained-out days, everybody’s very keen to get back on the park. We are looking forward to Nagpur and hopefully play some better cricket.”
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Lokesh Rahul, Stuart Binny, Gurkeerat Singh Mann