NEW DELHI (AP) — India aims to be “ruthless” in the final test against South Africa despite having taken a winning 2-0 lead in the four-game series,” captain Virat Kohli said on Wednesday.
“We want to be ruthless and will try to go 3-0 up,” Kohli said ahead of the match starting Thursday in Delhi. “We will not be experimenting just because we have won the series. We want to create a hard-working side with a winning culture. The team is in a good space and we will go all out for a win.”
India won the first test at Mohali by 104 runs, and the third at Nagpur by 124 runs. The second test at Bangalore was a rain-affected draw.
The Nagpur pitch, where South Africa folded for only 79 in the first innings, has been termed “poor” by match referee Jeff Crowe in his report to the International Cricket Council which awaits a reply from the Indian cricket board.
“I think the pitches have been discussed too much. No one talks about the Adelaide test (Australia vs New Zealand day-night game) which ended in two and a half days. People don’t talk about the number of times teams have been bowled out for less than 100 in South Africa but pitches are highlighted in India,” Kohli said.
Kohli, who will lead India for the first time on his home ground, said he was not giving a thought to whether the pitch at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium will also help turn as much.
“We’re confident of our abilities whether the game lasts three days or four or five. The pitch being different won’t change our mindset. We’ve come to win,” Kohli said.
South Africa captain Hashim Amla hopes to end the series on a high.
“Since we started this tour by winning the one-day internationals and Twenty20 series we would like to win this match and make it 2-1. We’ve got the England series very close, two weeks after we get back. It’s very important for us to get back to winning ways and cap it off well,” Amla said.
South Africa had won a five-game ODI series 3-2 and a three-game T20 series 2-0.
“It’s been a challenge against good bowlers on difficult tracks. It has been exciting with the games condensed into three days. But as a batsman, you are never settled,” he added.
Amla said pace bowler Dale Steyn would miss a third consecutive test owing to a groin injury he got during the opening test but that the team was not looking to experiment even though the series was already lost.
“It’s important to win and salvage some pride,” said Amla.
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