A month earlier, one wouldn’t believe that the fact that South Africa will have the upper hand to clinch the upcoming ODI series between hosts India and South Africa. But that’s how the tables have turned with India suffering test and T20 series drubbing against New Zealand and South Africa whitewashing Australia 3-0 in their last series.
India might be playing at home but the Quinton De Kock led army would come into the contest full of confidence with the momentum on their side. Nevertheless, the upcoming three-match ODI series will end the multi-format tournament which started with tests back in September.
Coming off with a test series drubbing, team India’s dressing room’s atmosphere won’t be as joyful as they would have liked, however, the inclusion of experienced campaigners in Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar would give them a lot to cheer about.
PROBLEMS PLENTY FOR INDIA:
India’s best batsman Virat Kohli is not willing to get back to form even as the vice-captain is out of the squad owing to his calf problems. In addition to that, premier fast bowler Bumrah too had meagre returns in the recently concluded New Zealand tour. His ally, Bhuvneshwar Kumar would be coming into the series after a longstanding injury. And to be fair, one wouldn’t expect him to fire on all cylinders right from the word go.
If not Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah’s back to form, the series could well go in favour of Proteas.
POSITIVES FOR INDIA:
Shreyas Iyer and Kl Rahul‘s consistent-run at number four and five would be the biggest positives for India going into the tour. And with Rohit not in the side, Dhawan’s experience at the top could come handy as he too would be eager to put some runs behind his back, having been in and out of the side due to injuries.
The first ODI will be held in Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala. Given the windy conditions the ground offers, India would be tempted to go with three seamers and thus Manish Pandey would likely be sitting in the first ODI.
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Given what happened with both the sides in their respective last series, South Africa are expective to come to all guns blazing. Experienced men like Du Plessis and Rassie Van der Dussen will be making their comeback in the team, while the middle-order to looks as solid as ever.
POSITIVES FOR PROTEAS:
South Africa boasts of a captain who has an outstanding record against India in India. Also, the likes of Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller have taken the responsibility to bolster their middle order as South Africa looks to have got all the ammunition needed to counter a strong Indian squad. On the bowling front, the proteas will miss the services of Tabriaz Shamzi who could prove to be vital in Indian conditions. The pace battery, though, looks good on paper with Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje in sublime form.
South Africa (probable): Quinton de Kock, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Beuran Hendricks/George Linde, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi,