15. Shardul Thakur
Since making his ODI debut in 2017, Shardul Thakur has mostly been in and out of the ODI team. He has just played 15 matches so far and until his last series against England at home earlier this year, he never really played regularly. He has always been a backup option for the team
14. Mohammed Siraj
Keeping the 2023 World Cup in mind, he is someone who can grow into an impact player for the Indian team in all formats. He has 81 wickets in 48 List A games at an average of 23.37, which suggests there is quality and a little experience as well.
13. Suryakumar Yadav
The last 12 months have been quite a rollercoaster ride for Suryakumar Yadav. After being sidelined for years, he was suddenly picked in the Indian white-ball setup and delivered his goods whenever being called upon. He was part of the ODI series against England at home.
12. Hardik Pandya/Venkatesh Iyer
There is a lot of speculation over one spot. Given the conditions in South Africa and the absences of proper all-rounders, India might pick one between Venkatesh Iyer or Hardik Pandya. The latter has been India’s premier all-rounder in the ODI format for the past few years.
11. Jasprit Bumrah
When India won the ODI series in 2017-18 in South Africa, Bumrah was a crucial member. He picked up eight wickets in six games at an average of 20.87 and an economy of under four. He has been in good form across formats and India would want him to continue that in the South African tour as well.
10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
He has only two wickets in six games with an average of 134 and an economy of more than six. Given the way this Indian team is shaped up, he will be the top contender to become the third seamer in the playing XI after Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
9. Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami has been quite incredible with the ball in all three formats since his comeback. In the last few years, there is no doubt that he has become one of the main aspects of the Indian bowling attack.
8. Yuzvendra Chahal
With Kuldeep Yadav being on the sidelines, Chahal will be at the forefront against South Africa this time. In 2017-18, he and Kuldeep had run havoc over the Proteas batters, with Chahal picking 16 wickets in six games at an average of 16.37. Given that and his supreme record against South Africa, he should make the first XI.
7. Axar Patel
This orthodox-spinner is a well-known name in the IPL but was not provided a chance, as there was a better all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja. But now, as his ally Jadeja has been rested for this series, Axar might get a chance to play in the eleven considering his decent performance in the IPL.
6. Rishabh Pant
He scored 77 runs from 40 balls and 78 runs from 62 balls against England in two consecutive ODIs when he last played the format. Those knocks showed that he is capable of delivering in this format as well, but India needs to persist with him.
5. KL Rahul
His form in Tests, IPL, T20Is, and even the last time he played an ODI match has never to be complained about. He has not played an ODI in South Africa and doesn’t have a lot of experience in those conditions. However, given his expertise and potential, it should not be a problem for him.
4. Shreyas Iyer
After the 2019 World Cup, the Mumbai batter was identified as the No. 4 batter in the Indian batting line-up. He did quite well-scoring runs whenever he got an opportunity. However, since scoring his maiden ODI century in New Zealand in early 2020, his numbers aren’t too great.
3. Virat Kohli
His record in South Africa is remarkable. He scored three centuries during India’s historic 5-1 series win in the African nation last time around in 2017-18. In 17 games in South Africa, Kohli has scored 877 runs at an average of 87.70 and a strike rate of 90.22, which includes three hundred and four fifties.
2. Shikhar Dhawan
India would hope for something similar in this series as well. Even though he has been sidelined from the shortest format, he remains an important member of the ODI side and there is no one India can trust at this moment to take over from him.
1. Rohit Sharma
As far as his current form is concerned, he has been smashing some long balls in the recent T20Is he has played. He also got the player of the series award during India’s triumph over New Zealand at home recently.