Preview: SA vs Ind (1st ODI): Team India Looking To Improve Their Record In Durban
By CricShots - Feb 1, 2018 6:05 am
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Indian skipper Virat Kohli will have to take one thing into consideration that there are some things in South Africa don’t change with a change of format. India is yet to win a bilateral ODI series in the rainbow nation since the ‘Friendship Series’ of 1992-93.

Team India eyeing for the no.1 spot in the ODIs

With the ICC World Cup 2019 in England is now just 15 months away, both teams must be having some plans ready for the big event. Coaches of both the teams, Ottis Gibson and Ravi Shastri, along with their respective captains, need to find a good balance between all-out-aggression, conservative, wait and watch or a mix of all.

Also read: India's predicted XI

While Faf du Plessis will be high on confidence as their last defeat in a home ODI came 18 games ago, in early 2016 to England, India will hope to get there permanent No.4 batsman. Meanwhile, South Africa will be hoping that the injury-enforced absence of their own long-standing No.4 – AB de Villiers – helps offer clarity on certain permutations and combinations. Either way, there is plenty of ability in both batting line-ups for this early World Cup kick-starter to become a mini-festivity.

The visitors’ biggest concern with Rahane, was his ability or the lack of it to rotate strike against spin. It is for this reason they’d kept him in the squad as a back-up opener. But with hard wickets expected in this series and at the World Cup next year, Rahane can be a solution to the No.4 debate, alongside Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer.

Kedar Jadhav’s return to the XI after missing the Sri Lanka series due to a hamstring injury will definitely give a boost to the batting order and also the bowling attack with his low-angle offspinners.  India may not have the luxury to field both Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in these conditions and could opt for an extra seaming option in Mohammed Shami or Shardul Thakur, while the control spinner Axar Patel also lengthens the batting.

On the other hand, with Du Plessis confirming the addition of Aiden Markram as a replacement of AB de Villiers, that will be the only matter of concern for the hosts. The Proteas have been practicing hard to face the two Indian wrist spinners with a section of their practice session on Tuesday dedicated to them. Coach Ottis Gibson himself bowled leg breaks off a couple of steps to round off the challenge posed by Chahal.

While looking at the bowling attack, South Africa seems to be having the best possible combination. Lungi Ngidi could make his ODI debut, while Tabraiz Shamsi is standing by in case a second spinner is warranted.

Some facts to remembers

– India have never beaten South Africa in an ODI in Durban.

– MS Dhoni needs 102 runs to become the second wicketkeeper to score 10,000 ODI runs after Kumar Sangakkara.

– Virat Kohli has a strike rate of 77.61 in 11 ODIs in South Africa. Out of the nine nations, he’s played ODIs in, South Africa remains the only place where he hasn’t scored a hundred yet.

– Quinton de Kock had scored centuries in each of the three ODIs he played against India at home during their last tour in 2013/14.

Probable XIs

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (C), Aiden Markram, JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal and Japrit Bumrah.