Benoni, Dec 13: The beleaguered Indian batting line-up which has been rattled by fiery pace and disconcerting bounce during ODI series will like to start afresh, when they take on a South African Invitational XI in a two-day practice game, starting here today.
The match which is being held at the Sahara Willowmoore Park - some 30 kms in the outskirts of Johannesburg is not an official first-class match as it is a two-day game where opposition teams are expected to bat on either days.
As this is not an official match, there will be provision for the batsmen to retire if they feel that they have got enough batting practice.
The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma along with Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara will like to get a decent hit out there in the middle before they take on the formidable South African attack in the first Test starting December 18.
That is important, since the Indian team were robbed of much needed game time in the third ODI, when rain washed off the second innings without a ball being bowled.
Almost all Indian batsmen will be looking forward to batting against a second-string bowling attack. Dhawan, Kohli and Sharma need runs, while Vijay and Pujara will need to acclimatize quickly to the conditions here.
The match is likely to give an indication as to who will be taking the coveted No 4 slot in the batting line-up vacated by Sachin Tendulkar's retirement. If India go in with seven specialist batsmen, the toss-up will be between Ambati Rayudu and Ajinkya Rahane, both of whom will get an opportunity to bat against a second string South African bowling attack.