3rd Test: 'Virtually impossible' to bat 4th on Nagpur pitch, says Sunil Gavaskar

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Nagpur, Nov 25: The debate over pitches in India might continue as former captain Sunil Gavaskar declared Nagpur pitch as "virtually impossible" to bat on, in the 4th innings.

Match Scorecard; 3rd Test Day 1 report

The 3rd Test between India and South Africa began today at the VCA Stadium. The hosts hold a 1-0 lead in the 4-game series after winning the opening match in Mohali in 3 days on a turning track.

Sunil Gavaskar

While India skipper Virat Kohli said he had no problems over the pitches in the series, the 22-yard strip will again be under the spotlight.

"That wicket debate is out of my understanding. I don't know why there is so much (hue and) cry about the wickets in India. We absolutely have no problems in playing on this sort of a wicket. If both teams don't agree on playing on a particular wicket, then it is not suited for a game of cricket. But we have no problems," Kohli had said yesterday.

Kohli won the toss on Wednesday (November 25) and opted to bat first. "It is pretty dry (pitch). Good time to bat on day one," he said.

Before the coin toss, Gavaskar, in his pitch report, said, "The cracks are incredible. You will be worried if you are a batsman. Win toss and bat first. You don't want to bat 4th on this surface. Batting 4th is virtually impossible."

Former India captain Anil Kumble said it would be a "huge challenge" for the batsmen.

With Proteas skipper Hashim Amla losing the toss, the visitors will face a big threat from Indian spinners as they will bat 4th. So far in the series, they have lost 27 (out of 30) wickets to spin.

It will be interesting to see how the pitch turns out as India have again included 3 spinners - R Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja. For this game, the hosts dropped Stuart Binny and Varun Aaron for Mishra and Rohit Sharma. South Africa too replaced a paceman (Kyle Abbott) with off-spinner Simon Harmer.

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