Pride, more than series, at stake for Australia in final Test

Australralia go in the fourth-Test amid ball-tempering fiasco against South Africa

South Africa and Australia are ready to face off in the final Test of the four-match series in Johannesburg on Friday.The match is being overshadowed by the ball-tempering controversy, which rocked the cricketing world and Australian cricket in particular.

The fallout from the incident which took place on the third day of the previous Test saw Steve Smith lose his captaincy, David Warner his vice captaincy, and the duo along with opener Cameron Bancroft have been banned by Cricket Australia after conducting a rapid-fire investigation for 12 and nine months respectively.

Earlier on Thursday, Australia head coach Darren Lehman has also announced that Johannesburg Test will be his last as the leader of the team’s affairs.

In the absence of Smith, the captaincy of the Kangaroos is handed over to wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine, which is quite a remarkable turnaround considering the fact that he was a surprise inclusion for the recently concluded Ashes series.There are at least three changes expected in the final eleven for the visitors, where Joe Burns, Matt Reshaw and Peter Handscomb will replace Smith, Warner and Bancroft.

On the other hand, things look far more settled in the South African camp, and the team will be eager to give a fitting farewell to the veteran pacer Morne Morkel, who will be playing his last international match for the Proteas.After winnings the third Test convincingly, the home side have already announced that they will field the same eleven who bamboozled the visitors, who were in the midst of a storm.

The last time when Wanderers hosted an international five-day match, the pitch was extremely dangerous and umpire came close to calling off the game as well. However, India dug in deep and registered a memorable victory.

The pitch has once again a bit of grass on it because of consistent rain during the buildup of the match, whereas there are chances that weather will play some part in the match as well .

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