Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Date: Sunday, 22 January
South Africa – 11/10
India – 15/20
The Proteas go into this match leading 2-0 after convincing victories during the week in Paarl where Proteas batters Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen registered centuries in the first match in the 31 runs win.
Proteas batters continued to improve in the second match with Janneman Malan scoring a well-taken 91 and Quinton de Kock registering 78 in the second match as they went on to win by seven wickets with 11 balls remaining.
To avoid an embarrassing whitewash, stand-in captain KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer will have to show marked improvement at the top with the bat.
One of the impressive aspects of South Africa’s two wins so far in this ODI series has been the impressive performances of spinners Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj and part-timer Aiden Markram.
Shamsi is currently the leading wicket taker in the series with four wickets from two innings and he is followed by Markram and Maharaj with two each while all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo has three to his name.
In their two wins, the Proteas found the balance between the batting and the bowling to make it difficult for their visitors and they will be looking to continue on that vein of form to end the series on a high note.
Coach Mark Boucher will no doubt ask for more of the same from his charges so that they finish the job and approach their outgoing tour of New Zealand next month with their confidence sky high.
India have already lost this series, but high on their agenda will be the mission to salvage some pride by coming up tops in the final match and avoid an embarrassing whitewash against their rivals.
This match will also be a chance for their former inspirational captain Virat Kohli to end his century drought as he last registered an international hundred in 2019 against Bangladesh during the day-night Test at the Eden Gardens.
Kohli, who has stepped down as Test and ODI captain, has breached the half-century mark on a number of occasions but the three-figure mark has kept on evading him and coach Rahul Dravid will be hoping that he finally gets there.
In the first two matches, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul showed glimpses of their brilliance at the top but they failed to convert their starts and the responsibility of laying the foundation will once again fall on their shoulders.
Elsewhere, Rishabh Pant impressed with his determined 85-run knock in the second match that was in vain and he will be eager to try and het his team over the line to return home with something in the bag.
South Africa are on a high at the moment and skipper Temba Bavuma and his men will be determined to register a memorable whitewash over one of their closest rivals.