Cricket

India vs South Africa: ODI series preview – KL Rahul to lead India for the first time in ODIs

Pavan Suresh

After a thrilling Test series between these two sides, the focus now moves to 3 match ODI series starting from tomorrow onwards at Boland Park, Paarl. It will be a part of the ICC ODI Super League.

The Indian Cricket Team will be playing their first ODI match after some time. KL Rahul will be leading the ODI squad after Virat Kohli was removed from captaincy. It looks like a balanced squad with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan making a comeback into the squad. Ruturaj Gaikwad has been given a place after showing his class in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy also made into the squad.

KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan are likely to open the innings. The former Indian captain Virat Kohli will be eager to showcase his old form after being removed from the ODI captaincy. Kohli played a major role in helping Team India register their first ODI series win on South African soil with 3 centuries to his name.

Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer Rishabh Pant would be eager to show his class and provide some stability to the middle order. Venetaksh Iyer might make his debut after an impressive performance in IPL and Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament for Madhya Pradesh.

The bowling department looks decent enough with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Prasidh Krishna. Navdeep Saini also has been included in the squad while Jasprit Bumrah has been named vice-captain for the series. Mohammed Siraj has been declared fit for the ODI series after suffering an injury during the 2nd Test match at Wanders. Ravichandran Ashwin makes a comeback into the ODI squad after a long time. Yuzvendra Chahal will play an important part in the middle overs to stem the flow of runs and pick wickets.

Indian team would be focusing on team combination and give players game time for World Cup 2023 to be held in India.

South Africa will be strengthened by return of Quinton de Kock. The team will be led by Temba Bavuma. The batting looks decent enough with de Kock, Markram, Janneman Malan, Bavuma, Rassie Van der Dussen, Hamza, David Miller who can provide some late impetus at the end.

The all-rounders comprise Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukawyo who can be effective with both bat and ball. Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Marco Jansen comprises of fast bowling. Shamsi has been included as the only spinner and Bavuma would be looking to pick wickets in middle overs.

According to Jasprit Bumrah, “We have to keep a vision to know which direction we have to go ahead of the 2023 World Cup. The preparations will start in advance if some new players come or in which direction we have to go. We will try to give equal opportunities to everyone.”

“We will have to get things right in the next ODI series against India. I’m not too worried about what happened in that 2018 series. I’m more concerned about establishing our own style of play and implementing our strategy to good effect.

“An ODI series win against India would give us a helluva lot of confidence, and some momentum ahead of the games to follow,” Bavuma was quoted as saying by ‘Daily Maverick’.

Players to watch out for India: Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul

Players to watch out for South Africa: Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, David Miller.

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