The 3 match Test series end on a disappointing note for the Indian Team. After the historic victory in Centurion, the hosts came back strong in the following two matches as the tightly contested series ended 2-1. With 3 ODIs lined up next, the Men In Blue will hope to redeem themselves and repeat their spectacular performance from 2018.
The matches will also be crucial for both teams keeping in mind the ICC World Cup in 2023. The 1st and 2nd ODI matches will be played at Boland Park, Paarl. Cape Town will host the final match of the tour. The Indian Team will miss their new captain and star batter, Rohit Sharma. The BCCI has appointed KL Rahul as the stand-in captain.
Lets take a look at Six Sports Predicted Playing XI for the 1st ODI
Skipper KL Rahul and seasoned campaigner Shikhar Dhawan will open the batting lineup. In the absence of Rohit Sharma, the fans will expect the right-hand-left-hand pair of Rahul-Dhawan to deliver blistering opening partnerships at the top. While Rahul is in the form of his life, the series will be very crucial for Dhawan’s career.
The Delhi southpaw despite being consistent has of late been overshadowed by young cricketers like Ishan Kishan, Prithvi Shaw, and Ruturaj Gaikwad. After being excluded from the World T20 squad of 2021, Gabbar needs to prove to the selectors that he can still be instrumental ahead of the World Cup of 2023.
Kohli’s first series after losing captaincy
Virat Kohli will play his first ODI series after being sacked from leadership duties in 2021. No doubt, fans are set to witness a new phase in the Master’s career as a batter. Pundits often attribute India’s failure in the 2019 World Cup to be a result of the No.4 debacle in the batting unit. The team management will back Suryakumar Yadav to consolidate his position in the playing XI in his first trip to the rainbow nation. Shreyas Iyer might be seen at No.5 as the anchor in the middle-order.
Pant will don the gloves and be the finisher with the bat. The X-factor of Team India will enter the field with a lot of confidence after his brilliant century in the last Test at Newlands. Shardul Thakur will play as the seam-bowling all-rounder. The team management keeps a lot of faith and his form will be critical for the Men In Blue in their journey ahead.
Will India play with 1 or 2 spinners?
KL Rahul might pick Yuzvendra Chahal as the only spinner in the side ahead of Ashwin. Chahal was the stand-out performer for Team India when they came to South Arica last time. His wicket-taking ability will boost the bowling armory in the pace-friendly pitches of South Africa.
As far as the fast-bowlers are concerned, Bumrah might be accompanied by senior cricketer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar. Both Bhuvneshwar and Chahar excel in the art of swinging the ball both ways. The pitch at Paarl will be a haven for them. Bumrah will be the deputy for KL Rahul in the series and will be the leading man in the bowling attack.
Ind Vs SA : The coutdown for ICC WC 2023 begins
KL Rahul will be leading a team with a great blend of experience and youth. Team India will have an edge over the hosts. The ODI series will be a perfect chance to avenge the defeat in Tests. Coach Rahul Dravid will keenly assess the squad as the ultimate aim for Team India will surely be the World Cup of 2023.
India Probable Playing XI: KL Rahul (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (w), Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Deepak Chahar.
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