After losing the three-match Test series, the Indian team will definitely be looking for a good start to the limited-overs series, starting today in Durban. However, it will not be an easy proposition for the two top sides in the world cricket at the moment and Durban is expected to see a feast.
Rohit Sharma – Kohli’s absence for his wedding gave a chance to Rohit to lead the side in the three ODI games and three T20 matches against Sri Lanka and the added responsibility acted as a motivation for the Mumbaikar as he went on to score 217 runs including an unbeaten 208 in Mohali. In the white-ball cricket, Rohit is an absolute star and can be a devastating opener for the team today.
Shikhar Dhawan – Alongside Rohit, Dhawan, who scored 168 runs in his last three ODI games, will open the innings for the side. The Indian opener, who managed to score only 12 runs in his last tour to the African nation, will be trying to improve his stats in South Africa this time around.
Virat Kohli – The Indian skipper showed his great form in the longest format of the game by becoming the highest run-scorer in the recently concluded three-match Test series, but the change in colour of the ball makes him a monster. The hosts will have to beware of the man, who has an average of 45.57 including three half-centuries in the country.
Manish Pandey – Pandey featured in 22 games for India scoring 432 runs at an average of 39.27. He was a part of the squad which visited Sri Lanka where he played in two games and scored 86 runs. On the pacy and bouncy conditions, Pandey has proved that he is a good bet for the No.4 position and India will need him to perform to the best of his potential.
MS Dhoni – The former Indian skipper had joined the squad after the end of the Test series and now will resume his services behind the wickets and can also hope to play some big innings. Dhoni showed his worth by playing a 65-run knock in the challenging conditions of Dharamsala. In the last year, Dhoni played 29 ODI games scoring 788 runs in 22 innings including a 134-run innings that he hit against England in Cuttack in January.
Kedar Jadhav – With Jadhav, India has a potential wicket-taking option when needed and a late-order power-hitter who can give some best bowlers a run for their money in the slog overs. The Maharashtra pocket dynamite played 25 games in 2017 and in 18 innings he scored 561 runs at an average of 40.07 and can be a huge threat for the hosts.
Hardik Pandya - The Baroda player impressed the fans with his 93-run knock in the first Test in Cape Town, but failed to keep that performance going into the next matches. However, the team will expect him to deliver in the white-ball format – both with the bat and ball – to make an early statement in the series.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar – Bhuvi helped the side start the Test series on a positive note grabbing four wickets in South Africa’s first innings in Cape Town and then made a winning contribution at the Wanderers. In the limited-overs format, Bhuvi knows how to get the things done and will be lethal both with new balls and old balls. In the lower-order, the team has a batsman to bank on as well.
Mohammed Shami – The 27-year-old played 50 ODI games for India claiming 91 wickets at an average of 25.37. Because of the fitness issue, the pacer featured in only three 50-overs game in 2017, but in the recently concluded Test series, he seemed to be in a very good form as he grabbed 15 wickets and will hope to emulate the same performance in the ODI series.
Jasprit Bumrah – In his first visit of South Africa, in the Test series, Bumrah is one of those players who impressed all with his performance and ended the series taking 14 wickets at an average of 25.21. The 24-year-old, is, however, a better performer in the ODI cricket and has been one of the very few death-over specialists at the moment. He has been in an exceptional combination with Bhuvneshwar and is expected to do well.
Yuzvendra Chahal – A leg-spinner can be effective in any conditions and Yuzvendra Chahal seemed to be the ideal option for the team. While at times, he went for runs, he returned to bag wickets time and time again and in the ODI cricket, that is the most important thing that any captain could have asked for.
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