Kris Srikkanth has predicted a 5-1 win for India in the six-match ODI series against South Africa by citing the injuries to Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers as the main reasons. The former Indian player also praised India for being brave in fielding two leg spinners in the first ODI in Durban.
South Africa won the Test series against India by 2-1 under du Plessis' captaincy and he played a 120-run knock in the first ODI but the side faced a big blow after the South African skipper was ruled out for the remainder of the series due to a fractured finger. This wasn't the first blow dealt
"It turned out to be far easier than expected for India in the first One-dayer, and I don't see things getting any different in the remaining five games. If the score-line is not 5-1, India would have done something wrong," Srikkanth wrote in his column for TOI.
Kris Srikkanth, on India's chances of winning the series
"If the absence of AB de Villiers hurt the hosts, then the non-availability of Faf du Plessis, makes this almost a no-contest. From the start of the Test series I have found their bowling unit to be decent at best."
Du Plessis innings helped the hosts post a target of 269 but Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane’s 189-run partnership ensured that India would take a 1-0 lead in the series. During South Africa’s innings, it was Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav who led the bowling department from the front. The duo delivered 20 overs together and conceded 79 runs for five wickets which helped the visitors to wrap up South Africa's innings for a low score.
"India did well by fielding two wrist spinners. It is a risk worth taking as they are wicket-taking options. With Chahal and Kuldeep displaying excellent control, the pressure on the batsmen is always on and that is one of the reasons why they are extremely successful as a pair," Srikkanth wrote.
Kohli showed his chasing ability yet again in the Durban game where he scored his 33rd ODI century. After losing both openers at 67 runs, it was Kohli and Rahane who gave stability to the side by forming a 189-run partnership. While chasing the target, the Delhi player scored 112 off 119 balls including ten boundaries.
"A sub-par target and an in-form Virat Kohli meant only one result from the word go. What continues to impress me is Kohli's easy approach to batting, especially in chases. There is not a moment when he forces himself to bat out of his zone. I have never seen a batsman play only proper cricket shots and come out successful even when up against tough targets," the 58-year-old stated.