South Africa vs India, 1st ODI - India Predicted XI

South Africa vs India, 1st ODI – India Predicted XI

The first ODI will be played in Durban on February 1, 2018.

India team
Indian team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team India had a very disappointing start to their tour of South Africa this season. The defeats in the first two Tests of the 3-match series ended their 9-series winning streak. However, the Virat Kohli-led side saved some pride with a consolation win in the final Test. Hence, in some way, the visitors can claim to have the winning momentum as the action moves to the limited overs cricket.

After three thrilling Tests, the stage is now set for the 6-match ODI series. The first ODI will be played at Durban on February 1, 2018. Over the years, Durban has not been a happy hunting ground for the Indian side in ODI cricket. Will the fortunes change? Only time can tell that.

For now, the Indian side can only hope to put their best combinations forward for the game. Considering the long nature of the series, the think tank will have enough time to rotate the players in the squad. But to begin with, they need to put forth their best eleven for the first ODI.

Here is the India Predicted XI for the Durban ODI:

Openers (Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma)

Shikhar Dhawan was dropped from the Indian side after the first Test. But when it comes to white ball cricket, Dhawan is the first choice opener for team India. He will be eager to put some runs under his belt on the tour. Dhawan has been in decent form in the limited overs cricket over the last couple of months.

His partner, Rohit Sharma, has had a herculean run in the limited overs cricket. During India’s previous ODI assignment, he had smashed his third ODI double ton. Also, in the T20I series that followed, he hit the joint fastest century in the format. The Indian opening pair looks fit for the game.

Middle-Order (Virat Kohli, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey)

The only area of the game where team India could potentially struggle is the middle order. Over the last few months, they have tested a lot of players at the number 4 slot. The constant chopping and changing has not quite helped India. And now, they will have their selection conundrums with multiple players throwing their hats for the role.

However, for the first ODI, it is likely that the team will go ahead with the experienced players. Skipper Virat Kohli is set at number three position. His stats in the limited overs cricket need no introduction. At number four, the team could play Kedar Jadhav.

Jadhav can also contribute with his part time bowling options. Moreover, his aggressive game of play could prove to be the counter attack that the team would need against the lethal South African bowling. Next in line could be Manish Pandey. Manish has performed decently well in the limited opportunities that he has got over the years.

Wicketkeeper (MS Dhoni)

Veteran Indian cricketer MS Dhoni is set to give his first glimpse on the South African tour to the crowds. Dhoni has arrived in the country and has started off his preparations. The former Indian captain is revered as the best wicketkeeper in the modern day cricket. He is set to entertain the fans. His role in the batting lineup will also be very vital.

All-rounders (Hardik Pandya)

All-rounder Hardik Pandya had a stunning start to the tour when he had carved a masterly 93 in the Cape Town Test. However, he seems to have lost his plot ever since. But with the white ball cricket coming up, Pandya is a different prospect altogether. He is a proven hitter of the cricket ball. Moreover, the team can also hand him the new ball, if need be.

Spinners (Yuzvendra Chahal)

Among the spinners in the squad, the Indian team management will have a choice to make from the pool of Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, and Axar Patel. There is not much on offer for the spinners in the South African conditions. Hence, the idea of playing two spinners does not seem validated. Among the lot, Yuzvendra Chahal is most likely to fit in to the squad. With the ground sizes being big in the country, Chahal will fancy his chances as a leggie.

Fast bowlers (Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah)

In the fast bowling department, team India is likely to field the same bowlers who had played in the Test matches. Barring Ishant Sharma, the other three pacers are set to be in the playing eleven. Considering the fact that it is a long series, the team management could pretty well give someone like Shardul Thakur more time acclimatize.

Meanwhile, the tried and tested pacers have spent enough time in the South African conditions to walk in straight in to the playing eleven. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the most impressive Indian bowler on the tour and is set to be in the side. He also adds depth to the batting order.

Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah bagged five-fors across the two innings of the final Test at Johannesburg. They will be riding high on confidence as they get in to the Durban ODI. Both Bumrah and Shami are proven pacers in the death overs and can be very lethal with their yorkers in the limited overs cricket.

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