Cricket

South Africa vs India | 1st ODI: The visitors aim for revenge in the limited overs arena

With the South Africa vs India Test series done and dusted, the two teams are all set to lock horns in the one-day series commencing on 1 February.

Although the visitors lost the gruelling Test series by a 2-1 scoreline, India kept their unbeaten record at Johannesburg intact by winning the third Test on a seemingly obnoxious deck against a top-notch bowling attack in a grand fashion. Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar yet again proved why they are called India’s best craftsmen in the overseas conditions. Rahane scored a fighting 48 off 68 balls in the 2nd innings which helped India take a decent lead and the latter was adjudged the Man of the Match for his incredible all-round display in the match.

It was a rare series wherein the bowlers, especially seamers more often than not dominated the play. Interestingly, this was the first time in the history of Test cricket that all the 120 wickets fell in a three-match series! It was also the first instance of Indian seamers snapping all the 20 wickets a Test.

Also read: IPL 2018: Sunrisers Hyderabad ticks all boxes with almost perfect team in auctions

“A lot of people didn’t have belief in us but as a team we knew that we were very close in the first two Tests too. We knew that if we played better in pressure situations than them, then we would win. And we did that in this Test match. This win was very important from our and the Indian team’s point of view, and we were determined to win this match,” an elated Virat Kohli said in the post-match conference.

India’s poor run in South Africa

The Proteas have always proved to be a tough nut to crack on their own turf in the limited overs format. They have been unbeaten in the bilateral ODI series at home since 2013. What rubs more salt to the wounds is India’s poor ODI record in South Africa. In India’s last three tours to the African Nation, they have lost 9 out of the 13 ODIs, winning only two of them (2 games were abandoned). The Men in Blue were even defeated 3-2 by South Africa in the ODI series back home in 2015.

 

Year

Country

Winner

Result

2000-01

India

India

3-2

2005-06

India

Drawn

2-2

2006-07

South Africa

South Africa

4-0

2009-10

India

India

2-1

2010-11

South Africa

South Africa

3-2

2013-14

South Africa

South Africa

2-0

2015-16

India

South Africa

3-2

 

Furthermore, India’s highest ODI total in South Africa since 2006 is a paltry 234, with 91 being their lowest. Out of the total 11 ODIs, India have managed to cross the 200-run barrier only in 4 of them. Let’s have a look at India’s ODI scores in South Africa since 2006.

 

Score

Opposition

Ground

Result

91

South Africa

Durban

Lost

168

South Africa

Cape Town

Lost

163

South Africa

Port Elizabeth

Lost

200-9

South Africa

Centurion

Lost

154

South Africa

Durban

Lost

190

South Africa

Johannesburg

Won

223-8

South Africa

Cape Town

Won

142-6

South Africa

Port Elizabeth

Lost

234

South Africa

Centurion

Lost

217

South Africa

Johannesburg

Lost

146

South Africa

Durban

Lost

 

India will also battle it out for claiming the top spot in the 6-match ODI series against the No. 1 ranked team. South Africa are currently sitting on top with 120 points, while India are just a spot behind with 119 points. If India manage to win the series, they could overtake South Africa in the ICC ODI Team Rankings.

 

ICC ODI Team Rankings

Team News

Given Virat Kohli’s peculiar preferences in the recently concluded Test series, the intricacies of selecting a balanced team will certainly put pressure on him in the upcoming one-dayers. The first and foremost concern would be to address the middle order woes, which Team India has been facing for the past one year. The number four spot is still shrouded in uncertainty as far as the team selection is concerned.

India have Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey lined up for this particular position. The other way around is sending MS Dhoni to safeguard the spot which can be equally lucrative for the team.

A lot of onus is likely to fall on India’s overseas specialist Ajinkya Rahane, only if he fits in the grand scheme of things, unlike the Test matches. If Kohli plays him in the shorter format, there are possibilities of Rahane claiming either of the No.4 or No. 5 spot depending upon the situation. Besides, India have the option of using four frontline seamers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur, also duly supported by Hardik Pandya.

 

 

In a massive blow for South Africa, AB de Villiers has been ruled out of the first 3 ODIs due to a finger injury he sustained during the last Test at the Wanderers. The selectors, as of now, haven’t named any replacement for the maestro, having trimmed the 15-member squad to 14. De Villiers’ injury could draft the in-form batsman Aiden Markram into the playing XI which is already studded with the likes of Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf Du Plessis and David Miller.

Joining the splendid batting line up will be the fierce Proteas seamers – Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel and Lungi Nidi. It will be interesting to see how the things pan out in the 1st ODI at Durban on Thursday.

 

India’s Probable Playing XI

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.

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