After a brilliant finish to the three-Test series between India and South Africa, the caravan now moves on to One-day International format. Both the teams will engage in a 6 match ODI series, starting with the first match at Durban on Feb 1.
As it was seen, almost all of the pitches in South Africa conducive to fast bowling, India might be tempted to play a contingent of fast bowlers in the first ODI at Durban. However, with players more comfortable in the shorter formats, India can come on top against South Africa.
The first ODI will be played at Kingsmead, Durban and India will be back to their tried and tested combination in the ODIs. Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will resume the duties at the top and will be responsible for negotiating the opposition quicks, and even making use of the power play.
The test will be bigger for Rohit Sharma, who has the demons of the previous series, where he was unable to even put the bat to the ball in the three ODI series. He has scored a mere 86 runs in 8 ODIs in South Africa and averages 12.28. He has to prove that he is able to play on the fast tracks of South Africa, after the failure in the two Tests he played and that he can make runs on pitches that are not in Bangalore or Eden Gardens.
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni will return to their respective places, with young Shreyas Iyer at no.4. He has given the impression of being able to handle the pace and now his ability to handle pace on bouncy tracks will be tested in South Africa. Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya will be the finishers for the Indian team and Jadhav will also be tasked to perform the role of the second spinner.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohd Shami might be the trio of fast bowlers Virat Kohli uses in the first ODI. Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah were brilliant in the Tests and will want to carry over their form into the ODI format as well. Mohd Shami will be the trump card for India in the ODI series, as he showed he is able to trouble the best of the Proteas batsmen.
Yuzvendra Chahal might get picked over Kuldeep Yadav for the lone spinner’s spot thanks to him being a leg-spinner and South Africa being terrible players of spin. Chahal also has the ability to bowl in the death or in the power play as well and it means he is indispensable for Kohli.
India has to win the six-match ODI series with a margin of 4-2 in order to become the no.1 ODI side.
COC Predicted India XI:
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah