South Africa vs India: India’s predicted playing XI for the second ODI

South Africa vs India: India’s predicted playing XI for the second ODI

At least, one change is expected for the second ODI from India after the first ODI loss against South Africa.

Indian cricket team
Indian cricket team. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

After three consecutive losses against South Africa across formats, the focus is set to shift to the second ODI with the series in line for India. The bowling looked pretty ordinary in the first ODI and there might be some changes done to the bowling attack. India suffered a heavy defeat in the hands of the Proteas by 31 runs and the margin could have been even bigger if not for Shardul Thakur’s late burst with the bat.

India could have dominated the game on two occasions especially – in the first half of the game when the South African side lost three quick wickets for just 68 runs on board. The lengths in the middle overs weren’t much attacking and KL Rahul being the skipper is expected to learn quickly as these are still early days for him as a leader.

Also, India’s middle-order has been struggling at times despite the hard part being done by the top three batters. It has to be said that India is missing the all-rounder in Ravindra Jadeja who is not part of the squad due to injury concerns. The left-arm spinner would have been ideal for the balance and could have been productive with the ball as well.

Here is India’s predicted playing XI against South Africa:

Openers – Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

Shikhar Dhawan was one of the biggest positives for India in the first ODI as he top-scored with a well made 79 off just 84 deliveries. The veteran batter had been very consistent in the 50 over the format for India in the last two to three years and despite all the questions surrounding his age, he has been delivering. He will be looking to continue his good form and convert his fifty into a century in the next ODI.

Meanwhile, KL Rahul did not have the best of outing on his captaincy debut and he will be eager to make up for it in the second ODI. A soft dismissal in the first ODI off the bowling of Aiden Markram, the onus will be on Rahul to take the responsibility and get a big score under his belt.

Middle Order – Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Venkatesh Iyer

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Virat Kohli looked very stubborn to score big, but was dismissed playing a sweep shot that hasn’t been his biggest of strengths. He did get a half century and he has been in good form since the Test series. However, he is too good a player to be not converting his half centuries into hundreds and he will be eyeing to end his century drought since 2019.

Number four and five has been very important positions for India especially in the 50 over format, and both Iyer and Pant were dismissed when the team needed them at most. Venkatesh Iyer could make just two runs on his ODI debut and he will be under pressure to perform with either bat or ball in the second ODI.

All-rounders – Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Ravichandran Ashwin in his return game picked up the wicket of Quinton de Kock but wasn’t able to much damage in the middle overs. The off spinner bowled a lot of carrom balls which he has earlier faced a lot of criticism for and he will know that he needs to do much more with the ball.

Shardul Thakur was taken to the cleaners in the death overs by Rassie van der Dussen and he will be disappointed with the number of full tosses he bowled. He did contribute with the bat scoring his first half century in ODIs and needs to step up for the side in the second ODI more with the ball in hand.

Bowlers –  Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Deepak Chahar is expected to be drafted into the playing XI instead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who looked out of socks in the first ODI and the former can swing the ball both ways. Chahar has been waiting for his opportunity and this could be the time he needs to capitalise to stick onto his place.

Jasprit Bumrah bowled a peach of a delivery to dismiss Janneman Malan and will be expected to lead the pace attack again. The vice captain was brilliant in the death overs hitting the block holds but little more wickets in his column will help India towards a win. Yuzvendra Chahal did get a lot of purchase from the wicket but failed to pick up a wicket which will be something he needs to correct in the second game.

India’s predicted XI for 2nd ODI: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul (c), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal