- In the last eight 8 ODIs between the two sides India has won seven while South Africa has managed only one win
- KL Rahul looked in excellent form during the series in New Zealand and he will pose a challenge for South Africans
- South Africa’s form in ODIs has been a problem barring the last series and they don’t have a settled line-up yet
The stage is set as an under pressure Indian team would take on confident South Africa in the first game of the three-match ODI series at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala.
The Indian side comes into this game after a disastrous tour of New Zealand where they were whitewashed in the ODI series. The South African side on the other hand is coming into this series after a massive series win against Australia and this would make the camp very confident going into this game.
The South African side comes into this series with the baggage of poor performances in India. They haven’t done well in the country in their last few tours and barring their triumph against Australia in the last series their form in ODIs has been poor. The Indian team would be looking to make good use of the home condition and playing a full strength side they would start confidently in the next game.
It won’t be wrong to say that Virat Kohli’s side would be under serious pressure as they go into this game. The side had a miserable tour of New Zealand after their triumph in the T20 series. They were whitewashed in the ODI series and suffered losses in the two test matches. With critics raising fingers at team selection and strategy Kohli and his men would be looking to make a strong start in this short series and take an early lead.
The absence of Rohit Sharma at the top is a big loss for the side and the pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal will need to provide a good start. In the middle order Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul will have to do well. The side will be expecting a strong comeback from Kohli who had a miserable tour of New Zealand. The side bats deep with players like Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya down the order.
Their bowling attack had a bad tour of New Zealand and will need to make a strong comeback in home conditions. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will need to start well with the new ball and pick early wickets. Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav and Jadeja will need to bowl well during the middle overs and check the run flow. The presence of Pandya adds to the bowling options for the side.
Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya would be the players the side would count on the most during the next game
Expected Playing XI:
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur
Quinton de Kock would be extremely happy with the performance his side put up against Australia. They had started as underdogs but won all the games convincingly to hand over a big blow to the Australians. The skipper would know that the Indians would be a very difficult side to beat in these conditions and his team will need to come up with a special performance to win the game.
The opening pair of Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan did well against Australia and they would want to continue with the form. It was the South African middle order of Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Verreynne and JJ Smuts that decided the series in their favour and they would look to carry with the same form. David Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo down the order make the batting line-up very strong for the side.
It is their bowling attack that will be tested against a strong batting line-up that India has. Lungi Ngidi has to lead the attack in company of Anrich Nortje. Lutho Sipamla also had a good series with the ball and he will look to continue with the form. Andile Phehlukwayo and Keshav Maharaj add variety to the bowling attack and shall look to trouble India.
Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen and Lungi Ngidi will be the three players the side would count on the most in this game.
Expected Playing XI :
Quinton de Kock (c & wk), David Miller, JJ Smuts, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Heinrich Klaasen, Lutho Sipamla, Kyle Verreynne, Anrich Nortje, Janneman Malan
The weather conditions would play a big role at the toss. Batting conditions aren’t likely to be easy and the side that bats first might have a big challenge judging a good score on this surface. Hence we believe the skipper winning the toss would invite the opposition to bat first on this surface.
PITCH AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
The pitch at Dharamsala has always been very different from others in the sub-continent. Fast bowlers are able to extract good bounce and pace from the surface. Batsmen have struggled on this surface and we have seen several low scoring games. It isn’t a 300+ wicket and the side batting first will need to keep that in kind while building their innings.
The weather forecast for the day isn’t encouraging as the weatherman predicts cloudy skies with strong chances of rains during the game. The maximum temperature of the day would be 11℃ which is likely to assist fast bowlers. 79% humidity is predicted for the day along with 90% precipitation.
South Africa hasn’t been good travellers in India over their last few tours. They have struggled in these conditions and with Indian team having a good spin attack they will be up against a big challenge. This will give Indian team the edge.
The South African side would know that Indian team is under pressure at the moment and the conditions at Dharmashala would suit their cricket more. They will like to use this opportunity to take an early lead in the series.
Indian team has a very strong batting line-up and South African side has problem with their consistency. The Indian side would have the crowds cheering for them and this will make them favourites in this game.