Time: January 21, 2 PM IST
Venue: Boland Park, Paarl
The slowness of the pitch caught a batter of Virat Kohli’s class off-guard despite him being set on 51. The South African spinners took four wickets between them, giving away runs at less than 5 RPO. Not that there’s a massive turn on offer, but India could not figure out the wicket the way South Africa did. Runs, otherwise, would have been easy to come by.
There’s no need for South Africa to mess around with their winning combination.
Probable XI for South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Janneman Malan, Temba Bavuma (c), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
It would be unfair to drop Venkatesh Iyer based on one failure, but if India are not going to exploit his bowling skills, they’d rather play either Suryakumar Yadav or Ishan Kishan to bolster their vulnerable middle-order.
Probable XI for India: KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer/Suryakumar Yadav, R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
After a mere 30 ODIs, Rassie van der Dussen averages a whopping 73.6, scoring 2 hundreds and 9 fifties. Many would wonder why did his entry to international cricket come late but better late than never. South Africa have a gem in their middle-order. He can put a price on his wicket as well as scale up the run rate when required. 129* off 96 in the first ODI was evidence of the fact.
Shikhar Dhawan continues to toy with the South Africa bowlers. It was his fourth fifty against them in 19 games – not to forget that he already has 3 hundreds.
Temba Bavuma started where he left off. He had two fifties and three unbeaten scores in the Test series and resumed the form with an instrumental hundred in the first ODI. He looked good especially against the spin duo of R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Virat Kohli now has 5 fifties in his last 6 ODIs. Need we say more?
India may not have been winning, but Shardul Thakur has been a delight in the world of fantasy cricket. He came at No. 8, after Ashwin, and scored his maiden fifty in the format. He looked solid, to say the least, picking the right deliveries to launch an attack and knowing when to rotate the strike. He, however, needs to be economical with the ball.
Three South African bowlers took a two-for: Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Tabraiz Shamsi. While Ngidi is a specialist strike bowler, Shamsi has been in incredible form since 2021.
The only bright side for India in the first ODI was the partnership between Dhawan and Kohli and Thakur’s fifty down the order. Otherwise, only 2 of their 5 bowlers could take wickets and 4 of the 6 specialist batters failed.
To put things into perspective, the South African batters used their feet against the spinners – something that turned out to be imperative on such pitches. The analytics team of India must have passed on the notes to their batters.
All in all, both form and fortune seem to be in South Africa’s favour.
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