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India to continue with flexible approach

Virat Kohli says hosts have 'no set combination' ahead of third Test against South Africa in Nagpur

India Test captain Virat Kohli has defended the decision to drop leg-spinner Amit Mishra for the second Test against South Africa as the hosts continue to employ a 'horses for courses' selection strategy.

Mishra complemented spin twins Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the first Test victory over the Proteas, and while he only claimed three wickets for the match, the leggie was responsible for removing world No.1 Test batsman AB De Villiers twice.

The 32-year-old was then dropped for the second Test in Bangalore for seam-bowling allrounder Stuart Binny, but Kohli said the pitch and forecast determined the make-up of the final XI.

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"I think you have to choose the allrounder according to condition. You can't be stubborn about the ability," Kohli explained why both allrounders, Jadeja and Binny, were selected.

"You have to consider who can do the right job in those conditions, because some people will be more effective.

"This team is about flexibility. We did not bowl Amit Mishra here. 

"Of course, he's bowled well in the past few months. But he understood we needed someone like Stuart in these conditions.

"Bangalore does something in the last couple of days (of the match), and this is the feedback we got from the guys who have played here and bowled on this pitch.

"There's no set combination in this team. Everyone is ready to play at any stage and willing to perform for the team, which is a positive sign."

India lead the four-match series 1-0 after the washout in Bangalore, and now both teams head to Nagpur for the third Test starting on November 25. 

However, not everything is rosy in the hosts' camp.

The dire form of opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan is a major concern for India.

The swashbuckling left-hander produced a pair in the first Test in Mohali, and has scored only 165 runs at 18 in all formats against the Proteas this tour.

But Kohli isn't worried about Dhawan's form, pointing out the centuries he made against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in his last two Tests before the South Africa series.

"If you call scoring two hundreds in three Test matches struggling, then I don't know what 'in-form' is," said Kohli.

"His last three matches, he has got a hundred in Galle, he has got a hundred in Bangladesh, unfortunately he got injured after and he played first Test match after that in Mohali.

"So let's not be too hard on someone because of two innings or three innings."