Team India is all set to face the Proteas test in the upcoming ODI series India vs South Africa ODI series from March 12. The South African team will be on an Indian tour and this is a brilliant opportunity for the Indian team to bounce back from the New Zealand ODI whitewash.
Team India and South Africa are two of the finest teams in the limited-overs format and over the years, thee two have fought intensely for the crown.
Team South Africa will come to India under the captaincy of the newly appointed captain, Quenton de Kock.
Team India, who may have not been able to recover from the Test and ODI whitewash will take this opportunity as a point to avenge their loss.
The last time these two teams clashed was in the ICC World Cup 2019.
The World Cup battle was won by the Indian Team by 6 wickets, but that doesn’t mean the South African team will be an easy target and especially with the recent form of the Indian team, it will be a really difficult task to defeat them.
Recently, a lot of questions were asked over the performance of the Indian team after the ODI whitewash.
A lot of these questions were targeted on captain Kohli’s performance and decisions on the field and squad selection.
With the recent squad selection, the return of Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar can be the x-factor for the team.
Considering the recent form of the South African team under the captaincy of Quenton de Kock, India will have to give more than their maximum effort to clinch the series.
South Africa recently defeated Australia 3-0 in the ODI series which was a part of the Australia tour of South Africa.
A breath-taking victory over the Kangaroos was quite unexpected, given under the circumstances that the South African team was going through a bit of crisis with the veteran captain Faf du Plessis opting out of the series.
The South Africa series will be a real test of India’s core strength and Virat Kohli will have to take the best step forward on each occasion.
Team India will have to focus more on its bowling, especially the Indian pace line-up. India’s leading bowler, Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t been that successful in the recent ODI series and wasn’t able to claim a single wicket against New Zealand in three matches.
The first match of the series will be played at Dharamsala and it will be a decider of Team India’s form. While the South African pacers will be hard to face for the Indian batsmen, the openers will play a crucial role in shaping the innings.
This series will mark the collision of South Africa and India after two years in a particular series. The last time these two played a series against each other, it was the India tour of South Africa.
In the six-match series, India came out on top winning five of the six matches. South Africa will look forward to avenging the ODI series loss at home. This will be a crucial series for both the teams as their reputation is at stake and the series will run with a lot of talking points.
India vs South Africa ODI Complete Squad
INDIA: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill
SOUTH AFRICA: Quinton de Kock (C & WK), Andile Phehlukwayo, Anrich Nortje, Beuran Hendricks, David Miller, Faf du Plessis, George Linde, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Jon-Jon Smuts, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Verreynne, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla, Rassie van der Dussen, and Temba Bavuma
Indian batsmen against the South African pace attack
The South African pace attack looks quite dangerous and with the likes of Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Andile Phehlukwayo leading the bowling attack.
The recent form and the wicket-taking ability of the South African bowling attack can dominate the Indian batsmen.
The spin-attack from South Africa led by Tahir Shamsi traumatised the Australian batsmen in the three-match ODI series and Indian batsmen will have to find ways to challenge their spin attack.
Lungi Ngidi has been in a different form all-together and in the two ODIs he played against the Australian team, he claimed 9 wickets with an economy around 4.
The Indian opening duo of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan will have to settle themselves on the pitch in front of the South African bowling to post a big total on the board.
KL Rahul and Shreyas are in exceptional form, but without Virat Kohli performing, the Indian team will not be the same.
How will Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar’s return help?
The recent squad announcement from BCCI seemed to be a strategic decision by the selection committee and the captain. The 15-member squad indicated the return of Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar to the team.
This can be a positive comeback of the players who were missing from the Indian team for a long time.
With Shikhar Dhawan in the squad, India will have at least one experienced batsman to open the innings who can bat longer persistently and carry the team.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was a much-needed addition to the team as the Indian pacers were finding it difficult to pick up some wickets in the recent matches.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar will provide the necessary swing with the new ball and this will allow Jasprit Bumrah to ball in the depth and pick some wickets.
The combination of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has been proven deadly over time and with the addition of Hardik Pandya in the squad, the captain will have a bowling option and an extra batsman down the order who can hit the ball for some quick runs.
Quinton de Kock as Captain
The South African Board handed over the captaincy to Quinton de Kock as they need to prepare a team for the World Cup and Faf du Plessis was not certain over his future in the team.
Quinton de Kock is an experienced wicketkeeper-batsman who opens the innings for the South African team. His form has taken a toll from the day he took over the captaincy and has been facing problems in handling situations.
His first series as the captain was against Australia, and he did a brilliant job as a captain to help his team win the match.
With batsmen like Heinrich Klaasen and JJ Smuts, performing brilliantly for the team, Quinton de Kock is currently concentrating on playing the role of Captain.
The India series will be a test for the South African captain and also the first series away from home for De Kock as captain.
He is a dangerous batsman and the Indian bowlers will look forward to taming him early in the innings to destabilize the South African line-up.
The three-match series between India and South Africa is played just days before the Indian Premier League and this could be an exhausting factor for both the teams, as they have just finished up series against New Zealand and South Africa respectively.
The series will be played from 12th March to 18th March and will round up in the Northern part of India, starting from Dharamsala to Lucknow and winding up at the Eden Gardens.
The last time India and South Africa came together for a cricketing series, was the India tour of South Africa and Virat Kohli was the player of the series.
The Indian fans will want the Indian captain to continue that form and score century in each match and lead his team to victory.
At the end of the day it won’t matter much how the matches go, the fans will get to see exceptional cricket being played amongst some of the biggest players in the world.