In fact, Centurion has a rather languorous feel about it. It’s a quiet town with a quaint ground and a rich history of some titanic duels.
There has been a heat wave in these parts recently and if the sun beats down the pitch and makes it drier, the wicket could quicken up as the match progresses.
Play Rahul at the top: India has to recall K.L. Rahul, a sound backfoot player who can cope with the conditions here, at the top. Shikhar Dhawan was found out technically against the bouncing ball on these wickets at Newlands and Rahul should partner M. Vijay.
Bring back Rahane for Rohit: Ajinkya Rahane might not have been in the best of forms going into this series but has succeeded here in the past and is equipped to play bounce and movement.
Give Ishant Sharma a fling: If the pitch at Centurion offers bounce then the lanky Ishant could be a handful with his line and lift from the back of a length or the good length area.
However, there were occasions when Bhuvneshwar, who has strappings over a few sore areas, appeared to be struggling with niggles — his pace dropped in subsequent spells — and his fitness will be closely monitored. If Bhuvneshwar misses out, Ishant will come in.
Stay away from outlandish moves: There are some theories doing the rounds such as getting Parthiv Patel to open — this would be extremely unfair on wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha who set an Indian record for most dismissals in a Test, at Cape Town — to save a place for a specialist middle-order batsman and a bowler, but such a move has its flaws.
Some question why Ashwin should be in the eleven if he if bowls so few overs — India could pick an extra batsman in his place. But then, Ashwin, as he showed in the second innings of the first Test, can hold his own with the bat in such conditions and then nick out batsmen with over-spin on bouncy tracks.