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India Relaxed, South Africa Uptight Ahead Of ODI Series

On the whole, while India as a team have little to gain from this series, it holds immense value for the visitors.

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By: TNI Team | Lucknow
Updated: October 6, 2022 13:12
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The three-match ODI series between India and South Africa that is kicking off on Thursday at Lucknow is largely an irrelevant affair for the hosts. None of the 15 members of the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup are playing in the ODI series. Hence, this series holds no significance for the Indian team as far as preparations for the marquee tournament is concerned.

However, many young Indian cricketers, in the absence of illustrious names, have a chance to pitch in spectacular performances and cement their place in the ODI team. Players such as Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi are prodigiously talented but aren’t regulars in the ODI team due to intense competition. They will be looking to put their best foot forward and impress the selectors.

This can be a crucial series for Deepak Chahar who is not a part of the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup but is in the reserves. Selectors are yet to name a replacement for Jasprit Bumrah who is ruled out of the tournament due to back problems. If Chahar rises to the occasion and bowls with gusto, he might be inducted into the Indian squad for the premier championship.

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Mohammed Siraj is also in contention, along with Chahar, to replace Bumrah and his performance will certainly be closely monitored.

South Africa, on the other hand, have a lot riding on this series. They lost the recent T20I series against India and have a lot of loopholes to plug. Perhaps that’s the reason, the South African squad for this ODI series is almost the same as their team for the T20 World Cup.

The biggest concern for South Africa is the form of their captain Temba Bavuma who managed only three runs in 3 T20I matches against India. There will be serious questions about his place in the team if he fails to come good in the ODI series. Quinton de Kock and David Miller are in fine form but South Africa will want Bavuma and Aiden Markram to get among runs.

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But bowling is their biggest concern at present. Apart from left-arm Keshav Maharaj, none of their bowlers is cutting the mustard. While the pedigree of Kagiso Rabada is undeniable, South Africa will want him to bowl with more vigour and venom. Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje flattered to deceive in the recent T20I series against India and will have to regain their confidence and rhythm.

On the whole, while India as a team have little to gain from this series, it holds immense value for the visitors.

Possible XI (India): Shikhar Dhawan (C), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj

Possible XI (South Africa): Quinton de Kock, Janneman Malan, Temba Bavuma (C), Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada

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