SA v IND, 5th ODI Preview: India hurting, but still on the ascendancy
The Indians will be hoping to regroup following their defeat in Johannesburg
Published - Feb 12, 2018 1:14 pm | Updated - Feb 13, 2018 5:38 pm
South Africa might have prevailed over India in the Pink ODI at Johannesburg, but there remains a lot to be done. The Proteas still trail the visitors in the ODI series 3-1 and it remains to be seen if Aiden Markram’s side can indeed catch up to the visitors and square the series. A massive step for the same will be the clash of these two cricketing heavyweights in Port Elizabeth. While their unbeaten streak in the ‘Pink ODI’ remains, Markram’s men will be happier with the manner in which they negotiated the Indian bowling attack, especially the wrist spinners.
In the context of the upcoming ODI in Port Elizabeth, Virat Kohli will be looking to rally his men following what was an uncharacteristic performance from what is usually a ruthless Indian side. While the wrist spinners were not up to the mark, it was the dependence on Kohli and Dhawan that led to India posting a sub-standard total on what was a decent batting surface at The Wanderers. Needless to say, Kohli will be looking to shore up the middle-order into a force that can amass the quick runs in the final few overs.
As the penultimate ODI beckons, one would indeed find it difficult to predict, but the fact of the matter does remain that the Proteas will have the edge following that win in Jo’burg. However, one would also expect Markram to be cautious of his opponents who have seemingly done marginally wrong thus far.
Toss: SA won the toss and elected to bowl first
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
South Africa (Playing XI): Aiden Markram(c), Hashim Amla, Jean-Paul Duminy, AB de Villiers, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen(w), Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Lungisani Ngidi, Morne Morkel, Tabraiz Shamsi
The return of AB de Villiers has done a lot more than just strengthened a weak-looking batting unit. His re-entry into the side has also ensured that there is a psychological shift in the manner of thinking with the South Africans a lot more confident with him around perhaps. The previous ODI saw the Proteas filed an all-pace attack, something that did indeed work in their favor. However, with the Port Elizabeth wicket expected to offer some turn, it is expected that a spinner would make his way into the side. Tabraiz Shamsi seems favorite at the moment to take on the role.
The Indians will certainly be hurting following the defeat at Jo’burg. Perhaps, it was the defeat that ensures a wakeup call of sorts for the Indians. Moreover, there is little to suggest that they would change anything in a playing XI that has been hugely successful on tour so far. The middle order, however, looks a bit bleak with the lack of backbone. Shreyas Iyer could do little to force the score while Pandya and Dhoni too seemed out of sorts with the bat. Perhaps Manish Pandey might be given the chance with the bat this time around. The bowling attack is expected to be more or less the same.
Head to Head
The newbie Klassen finally got his chance to impress with the bat. While many have not seen him enough with the gloves, his unbeaten 43 in the Wanderers was something impressive, to say the least. Klassen has been tremendous with the bat in the Ram Slam, but this time around, he seemingly had no problems with the wrist spinners Chahal and Kuldeep. He put on a good partnership with the explosive Andile Phehlukwayo to ensure a win for the hosts, they’re first in the series. He will be expected to produce more of the same should the home side have any qualms of securing a draw at the very least.
The 27-year old was lauded by many after the first three ODIs. Along with his spin twin Kuldeep Yadav, they accounted for 23 South African wickets. However, Chahal has now come under pressure following his performance at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. Conceding 12 runs an over with a wicket to his name, it would seem as though he has now become one who can be read easily. It will be quite a sight to watch given the fact that both spinners are under pressure to perform at Port Elizabeth.
Rohit Sharma hasn’t scored a 50+ in his last five ODI innings. This is the longest streak for him without a fifty in the last four years.
Head to Head
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