Mumbai, Oct. 1 -- The ball gripped and turned on the dry surface, and there was rough around the good length area as well. These were the playing surfaces rolled out for South Africa batsmen on their previous tour in 2015-16. Things are expected to be no different this time too during the three-Test series starting in Vishakapatnam on Wednesday, if the Indian team management's wish is granted by the curators.

One of the Indian players studying the pitch composition with keen interest will be R Ashwin. Relegated to a fringe role in the last cycle of away matches, Ashwin at home should be among first names on the team list. His record is such. In 38 Tests at home, he has taken 234 wickets, a bowling average of 22.68.

Made to cool his heels ...