South Africa vs India, 5th ODI – India Predicted XI

India will be hoping to regroup ahead of their fifth ODI encounter against the Proteas.

Shikhar Dhawan of India
Shikhar Dhawan of India. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After a shambolic start to their campaign, South Africa eventually managed to turn the tables at the iconic Wanderers Stadium. India threatened to clinch the ascendancy riding on Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan’s stupendous partnership. However, their bowlers held their nerves and restricted India below the 300-run mark.

India got South Africa on the mat during the Proteas run-chase but dished out blemishes to surrender the momentum to the opposition. Meanwhile, Aiden Markram’s men kept intact their winning streak in the Pink-Day ODI at Johannesburg.

Nevertheless, despite the defeat, India won’t want to experiment with the lineup. The bowling lineup has faltered in the previous game, however, it will be cruel on part of them if they are sidelined from the playing XI at Port Elizabeth. In our article, we take an insight into India’s probable Playing XI.

Openers (Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma)

The Indians won’t want to tinker with the openers slots and persist with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Both openers have been in contrasting form in the ongoing series. Dhawan has shown consistency and has notched runs in the four games. He was outstanding at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and scored a masterful century against a potent South African attack.

On the contrary, Rohit Sharma has been jittery throughout the series. He has employed a half-hearted approach and never came to terms with the conditions and the Proteas attack. After a string of low scores, the Mumbai cricketer will be hoping to get his form back and subsequently, take India off to a healthy start.

Middle-order (Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, MS Dhoni (wk))

The middle-order looks more or less settled for India ahead of the penultimate game of the series. Virat Kohli has been exemplary and has been a force to reckon with in the four games. Ajinkya Rahane kicked off his campaign with a match-winning knock but hasn’t quite replicated the form in the next three games. However, bearing in mind his composure, he will again be an integral part in the next game.

Shreyas Iyer replaced Kedar Jadhav in the Pink-Day contest as the latter pulled a groin muscle on the eve of the game. He scorched a couple of boundaries, but never got himself going against the Proteas. MS Dhoni also struggled to score runs and couldn’t inject impetus to the innings after an impressive start.

All-rounder (Hardik Pandya)

Hardik Pandya was expected to play t a pivotal role in India’s ODI campaign against South Africa. However, he hasn’t had much to cheer in the ongoing series. While he hasn’t got going with the willow, he also has been unable to ruffle the feathers of the Proteas batsmen. The only moment of joy for Hardik came when he dismissed AB de Villiers during a crunch moment of the game.

With the bat, he struggled in the three outings. He has the highest score of 14 and has scored runs at a strike-rate of 76, which is way below par than the standards he set during his career for India. However, going into the next game, South Africa won’t rule him out bearing in mind the potential he possesses.

Bowlers (Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah)

The bowling lineup is most likely to remain unchanged as they have displayed consistency and deserves to be retained. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been a tad off-color, however, he has the repertoire to rattle the opposition. Jasprit Bumrah has been economical and has picked up crucial wickets. India will dearly hope for the duo to fire on all cylinders and restrict the Proteas batsmen.

However, all eyes will be on the wrist-spinners- Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Both have been impressive and managed to churn out wickets. Chahal was taken to the cleaners by the likes of David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen at the Wanderers, however, the Proteas can’t afford to undermine him. Kuldeep has been flawless and has effortlessly been India’s best bet with the ball thus far.

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