The Men in Blue will clash against the Proteas in a 3 match ODI series after the conclusion of the ongoing Test series. The visitors will face an uphill task against South Africa who are known to be hostile hosts. Rohit Sharma, the new white-ball captain of India will be missed in the series as he is yet to recover from his left hamstring injury. The BCCI has officially announced the ODI squad with opening batter KL Rahul as the stand-in captain.
The first 2 ODIs will be played on January 19 and 21 at Boland Park in Paarl. The Newlands Stadium of Cape Town will host the final fixture.
With top players on both sides, India will look to play with its full strength keeping the 2023 World Cup in mind. Hence, the series against South Africa can be the answer to multiple questions, the team management presently faces.
However, amidst all this, quite a few players might even have to wait and warm the benches. We pick 3 such cricketers from the squad, who might not be in the scheme of things ahead of the limited-over series.
Ruturaj Gaikwad has been on a dream run since the last edition of the IPL. The orange cap winner of IPL 14 had continued his impeccable form amassing huge runs in the domestic tournaments. But the young gum might not be the first choice opener for the side. Captain KL Rahul and seasoned campaigner Shikhar Dhawan are most likely to open the batting for India.
In case anyone of the two is unavailable for a match, players like Ishan Kishan and Venkatesh Iyer might be the next two in line. Wicket-keeper batter Ishan Kishan has been a prolific run-scorer in the domestic circuit and IPL, and his attacking mindset gives him an edge over many.
Despite having less international exposure, the Jharkhand southpaw was a part of India’s WT20 squad in 2021. Venkatesh Iyer, was the new rising star of IPL 2021. The all-rounder changed the fortunes for KKR in the 2nd leg.
He was the biggest reason for his side to qualify for the finals. Iyer can bowl slow medium pace and can well be India’s 5th or 6th bowling option. Therefore, with so many players in the queue for 2 spots, Ruturaj Gaikwad might have to wait a little bit more.
Another pace sensation for India, Prasidh Krishna has been a part of Team India’s squad for the last few series. The 6ft 2-inch lanky right-arm fast bowler created history in his first ODI match itself. In his debut match against England, Krishna took 4 scalps, the most wickets by any Indian bowler on ODI debut. The Karnataka speedster has been an impressive performer at the domestic level.
He can consistently hit the 150km/hr mark and has experience bowling in death overs in IPL. However, it will be a daunting task for the pacer to break into the playing pace battery. With the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, and Deepak Chahar in the squad, chances are less for Krishna to feature in the upcoming ODI series.
Keeping the seam-bowling friendly conditions of South Africa in mind, coach Rahul Dravid might be in favor of playing not more than a single spinner. Washington Sundar and Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal were the three spin-bowling options for Team India. But after Washington Sundar tested Covid positive, Jayant Yadav was called in at his place.
Ashwin is making a comeback in ODIs while Chahal has a point to prove after being snubbed in the WT20 squad. Given the experience they have, India will be banking on them in the tight tussle against the Proteas. With the likes of Venkatesh Iyer as an all-rounder option, Jayant Yadav might have to warm the benches in South Africa.
Schedule of IND VS SA ODI series
- 19 January 2022: 1st ODI at Boland Park, Paarl – 02:00PM (IST)
- 21 January 2022: 2nd ODI at Boland Park, Paarl – 02:00PM (IST)
- 23 January 2022: 3rd ODI at Newlands Cricket Ground – 02:00PM (IST)
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