India vs South Africa: India Win Toss Despite Proteas Sending Bavuma as Proxy Captain
Ranchi: India skipper Virat Kohli elected to bat for the third straight time after South Africa's attempt to beat their bad luck at the toss with Temba Bavuma in the final Test on Saturday did not work.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis brought his deputy Bavuma to call the toss in an effort to change his side's fortunes but South Africa went on to lose its 10th successive coin flip in Asian Tests.
The hosts, who have already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, made just one change to their starting line-up from the previous win on Sunday.
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has been handed his international debut after being added to the squad late Friday in place of injured Kuldeep Yadav. Nadeem came in to the side in place of paceman Ishant Sharma.
However, not everyone was a fan of Du Plessis' decision.
"It was a quirky moment but for me it was a little bit pathetic," former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith, who is working with the broadcasters as a commentator, said on Saturday.
"It just shows the mindset of the South African side. I didn't enjoy seeing that. I would rather see the South Africa captain stand there, own his position."
"You know, they are looking at the wrong places for the reasons they have lost the game. Unfortunately, they haven't played well enough. Yes, winning the toss in the sub-continent is a nice thing to do but if you play well enough, you can still compete," he added.
"It isn't meant to be," Du Plessis said of his long losing streak.
"Important toss as this looks the driest surface of the series. It's about the first innings really and we need to put runs on the board when we bat."
The Proteas made five changes to their starting line-up, with Zubayr Hamza, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Lungi Ngidi and Dane Piedt added.