- Venue: Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala
- Date: 12th March 2020
- Time: 1:30 PM IST
- League: South Africa tour of India
Shikhar Dhawan is back in the Indian side after recovering from a shoulder injury. However, his opening partner Rohit Sharma hasn’t recovered from his calf injury yet. As a result, Prithvi Shaw will open alongside Dhawan against South Africa. In addition to the southpaw opening batsman, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya are also back for the ODI series. While Shardul Thakur didn’t make it to the squad, Navdeep Saini still has his spot.
Virat Kohli struggled to score runs on the recent tour of New Zealand. The skipper will be looking to play a big inning against South Africa at home. While KL Rahul had successfully played an opener’s role for India in the T20is, the team seems to be giving Shaw another chance at the top. This India vs South Africa ODI series can be very crucial for Prithvi Shaw to claim a spot in the squad for the long run.
If Shaw opens along with Dhawan, Rahul will be ideal for number 4 while Shreyas Iyer to follow at number 5. While Pandya had last played cricket in September last year in a T20 series against South Africa. His role with the ball is crucial in the absence of Mohammad Shami. Shami’s absence could be due to an injury from the NZ tour, it ensured Navdeep Saini retains his spot in the side. While Dube has been dropped, getting Ravindra Jadeja and Pandya both in the squad, Rishabh Pant will remain the second-choice wicket-keeper.
South Africa Preview
South Africa recently defeated Australia 3-0 in an ODI series at home. While the Proteas defeated a mighty Australian side in the absence of Dussen and du Plessis, the two are now back in the squad. Janneman Malan who scored a hundred in the 2nd ODI against Australia is also in the squad for India ODI series. Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, and David Miller are the strength of South Africa middle-order.
Quinton de Kock didn’t look in great touch in the last ODI series, and needs to be in his best form. He has played impressive cricket in India in the IPL, and his form is crucial for South Africa. While Kagiso Rabada is out of the South Africa squad for the ODI series, Lungi Ngidi, Beuran Hendricks, and Anrich Nortje share wicket-taking responsibilities. Batting all-rounder George Linde is back in the squad. However, the visitors may include JJ Smuts and Andile Phehlukwayo in the playing XI over George Linde.
India to win the match
India will be playing an ODI series at home following their 0-3 defeat in New Zealand. Many players are back in the squad including Dhawan, Pandya, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Virat Kohli has a great record at a home in the ODI format and will be eager to get back in-form. While India is coming off of a 0-3 loss in NZ, South Africa will take on India following their 3-0 win at home. India’s squad strength, and their home record make them favorite to win the match.
However, India’s bowlers must be watched out for including Hardik Pandya. While Kumar and Pandya are coming back from injury, Bumrah’s comeback in the ODI format wasn’t ideal on the tour of NZ.
Fantasy Team Tips
- While KL Rahul is an in-form wicket-keeper batsman for India, Quinton de Kock has a similar role for South Africa. He’s done well in India and is among the popular choices for the fantasy team.
- Virat Kohli is an essential pick for the fantasy team while Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller are the crucial for South Africa’s middle-order.
- In addition to KL Rahul and Kohli, Shreyas Iyer will also be crucial for India in the middle-order. Hardik Pandya is making a comeback and will be one to watch out for as an all-rounder.
- Another comeback player in the Indian side Bhuvneshwar Kumar will also look to make an impact.
Fantasy Team Prediction
- Wicket-Keeper – KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock
- Batsmen – Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller
- All-rounders – JJ Smuts, Andile Phehlukwayo
- Bowlers – Lungi Ngidi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal
- Captain – V Kohli
- Vice-Captain – KL Rahul