Predicted XI: SA vs Ind (1st ODI): Indian Skipper To Go With A Single Spinner
By CricShots - Jan 31, 2018 1:34 pm
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With the Sunfoil Freedom Test Series ending on a relatively nice note for the Indian cricket team with a win at Johannesburg, it’s now time to prove their mettle in the ODIs and T20Is. South Africa will now host India for 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is, with the first ODI is scheduled to be played in Durban on 1st February.

Team India

Both teams would be looking to win the series, with South Africa looking to retain their numero uno position in the ICC ODI rankings, India will be looking to displace South Africa from their throne. The Indian squad will undergo a bunch of changes for the limited overs squad as the Test specialists Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Ishant Sharma making way for limited-overs specialists like MS Dhoni, Kedhar Jadhav, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

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With so many in-form players to choose from, it will be a tough task for the Indian skipper Virat Kohli to select a balanced XI for the first ODI on Thursday. 

The deputy skipper Rohit Sharma is expected to open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan and will be looking to continuing their impressive form from 2017. With the constant threat of Ajinkya Rahane as a reserve opener looming, it is time for Dhawan to show that he can perform whenever the team demands. 

Virat Kohli at no.3 is a no-brainer while the next batting position is a bit controversial as, since the 2015 World Cup, the no. 4 positions has been a big debacle for the Indian cricket team. Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Yuvraj Singh, KL Rahul – all gave lacklustre performances at that position.

Rohit Sharma

Following his impressive performances in overseas, especially after his century in Australia, Manish Pandey seems to have an edge in the South African conditions as well. He will be followed by another no-brainer of MS Dhoni as he is irreplaceable. With Mahi returning to the team after a month-long break, he will now have the big responsibility of keeping the inexperienced Indian middle order stable with his experience.

Over the past 12 months, Kedar Jadhav has made the no. 6 position his own. He will e looking to making a successful return to the Indian outfit after missing the Sri Lanka series due to injury. Apart from his batting exploits with the bat in the death overs, it is his magical bowling spells during the middle overs that make him crucial cog for Team India. 

Despite the fact that Hardik Pandya was criticized for the ways in which he got out in Tests, he is an important part of the limited overs side. The swashbuckling all-rounder contributions with both bat and ball have been immense in recent times.


India’s premier pacer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also an automatic pick at the 8th position with his handy batting skills. With his always improving ability to bat down the order, Bhuvi provides support to the Indian batting lower down the order. His death over exploits along with Jasprit Bumrah who will bat at no.11 is lesser to none.

Despite the fact that Mohammad Shami finds it difficult to make into the playing XI in the Indian subcontinent, he stands a very good chance in the rainbow nation with his expertise hit the deck bowling. He can also be a good new bowl bowler, who can bowl in the middle overs as well. 

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Yuzvendra Chahal has become India’s first choice spinner for limited overs cricket and with seam-friendly wickets in South Africa, Kohli is bound to go with just one frontline spinner. The leggie has been instrumental in various wins over the past year and will likely continue to be a part of the Indian side in the future as well.

Bumrah has been a discovery ever since his debut. With Bhuvi from the other end, this deadly duo can bring down any batting line up with their toe-crushing yorkers and slower ones during the slog overs.

India’s predicted XI for Durban ODI:

Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd. Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Jasprit Bumrah.