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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Confident India eye ODI series win vs South Africa

Confident India eye ODI series win vs South Africa

Source: PTI
October 10, 2022 14:18 IST
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IMAGE: India's players celebrate a wicket during the second ODI against South Africa in Ranchi on Sunday. Photograph: BCCI

India would look for some stability from its openers as the hosts, missing their top players, aim to punch above their weight and seal a memorable series victory against South Africa in the third and final ODI in New Delhi on Tuesday.

 

After going down narrowly in the series-opener, the might of the Indian white-ball depth was in full display as the hosts won the second ODI comfortably to level the three-match series 1-1.

But the Indian think tank would be a little concerned about the opening pair of captain Shikhar Dhawan and young Shubhman Gill.

Both batters struggled in the series so far.

One of India's most consistent ODI batters in last two years, Dhawan, who is now restricted to playing only the 50-over format, has managed only 17 runs in the two matches.

The veteran batter will hope to give a better start to the Indian innings in the decider with his eyes set on the ODI World Cup next year.

Gill, on the other hand, has also been profligate in availing his opportunities at the top. After being cheaply dismissed in the opener, he got a good start in the second ODI but couldn't convert it into a big score.

The middle order comprising Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan and vice-captain Sanju Samson has been solid.

IMAGE: India captain Shikhar Dhawan is bowled by Wayne Parnell during the second ODI. Photograph: BCCI

While Iyer and Samson have been consistent, Kishan looked in imperious touch and all three will be eager to continue with their good form as the Indian team management continues to audition players for the ODI World Cup.

In the bowling department, Mohammad Siraj, who has been touted as a possible replacement for injured Jasprit Bumrah in the T20 World Cup squad, has made a strong case for himself.

Spinners Shahbaz Ahmed and Ravi Bishnoi have also had good debuts.

While the stakes are not to high for the Indians, it will be a tough test against a full-strength South African side, which would be ravenous for ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points.

The Proteas, who are ranked 11th, are in danger of missing out on direct entry into next year's 50-over World Cup.

Temba Bavuma, who has been woefully out of form since his return from injury, was rested in the second ODI as he was unwell and it is to be seen if the skipper returns for the decider.

Stand-in skipper Keshav Maharaj erred in making the right call after the coin landed in his favour in the second ODI as South African bowlers felt helpless against the dew but they will be expected to come all guns blazing in the series finale.

Their batter have also fared well and the onus will be on the likes of Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram and David Miller to perform with the willow.

Rain could play spoilsport with Delhi witnessing heavy downpour since the past three days and there is probability of scattered thunderstorm on Tuesday as well.

Teams:

India: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson (w/k), Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammad Siraj, Washington Sundar, Mukesh Kumar, Rajat Patidar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Rahul Tripathi.

South Africa: Temba Bavuma (captain), Janneman Malan, Quinton de Kock (w/k), Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Anrich Nortje and Andile Phehlukwayo.

Match starts at 1.30pm IST.

(The India vs South Africa 3rd ODI will be broadcast live on Star Sports channels. Live telecast is streamed on the Hotstar app.)

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