India vs South Africa: India predicted XI for first ODI - Virat Kohli to play 4 pacers keeping Dharamsala weather and pitch in mind
India vs South Africa 1st ODI: Here’s India’s Predicted XI for the first ODI against South Africa at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Wednesday.
India vs South Africa 1st ODI predictions: India going into a series on the back of 5 losses (3 ODIs and 2 Tests) on the trot is rare, considering the recent laurels of the Virat Kohli-led side. But as coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli have time and again said (and delivered more often than not too), it shouldn’t play on the back of their minds when India take on South Africa in the three-match ODI series starting with the first ODI at the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala on Thursday.
Apart from the strong mindset of the team, what would go in India’s favour is their return to familiar conditions and the return of first XI players like Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The trio has been in and out of the Indian side because of injury concerns but all three of them proved their fitness in the DY Patil T20 cup to earn their spots back in the side.
Here’s India’s Predicted XI for India vs South Africa 1st ODI at Dharamsala
In the absence of Rohit Sharma, who is yet to recover from a calf injury, Shikhar Dhawan’s return would lend valuable experience to the Indian top-order, which badly missed both the openers in New Zealand. Dhawan had dislocated his shoulder during the final ODI against Australia at home and missed the New Zealand series.
It is tempting to open with KL Rahul but considering India’s stance of making Rahul keep wickets and bat him in the middle order, it looks unlikely. That once again opens the door for Prithvi Shaw who sizzled, sparkled but failed to make it big in New Zealand. The young Mumbai opener would look to grab the opportunity with both hands on Wednesday against South Africa.
Virat Kohli managed just 75 runs against the Kiwis in ODIs and his series aggregate was the lowest in his career. The Indian skipper would be itching to silence his critics, who have raised eyebrows after his statement on ODIs not having context in the current calendar when India face South Africa in the first ODI at Dharamsala.
Of late, No.4 hasn’t remained the hot topic when it comes to the Indian batting, thanks to Shreyas Iyer. The young right-hander has made that spot his own. With scores of 103, 52 and 62, he was India’s highest run-scorer in the three ODIs against New Zealand and will look to continue the good work in the first ODI against South Africa.
The Man of the series of the five-match T20I series in New Zealand, KL Rahul also scored a century in the 3rd ODI at Mount Maunganui. With India going ahead with him as the preferred keeper over Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul’s position in the Indian side becomes ever so crucial.
Manish Pandey might just get a longer run at No 6 now that Kedar Jadhav has finally been dropped from the squad. Pandey just got one opportunity in the ODIs against New Zealand but was decent in the T20Is. He would look to play the role of a finisher in the three-match ODI series against South Africa starting on Wednesday.
All eyes will be on Hardik Pandya in the India vs South Africa 1st ODI at Dharamsala. The all-rounder is returning to international cricket after a gap of almost six months. Pandya last played an ODI against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final in Manchester and his last international game was a T20 against the Proteas in Bengaluru in September last year. He forced his way back into the national team with his all-round performances at the DY Patil Corporate Cup, where he looked completely fit and ready to go. Pandya looked in great touch in the practice session on Monday.
With rain in sight and the Dharamsala pitch-factor in mind, India might just go in with one spinner in the first ODI at and that in all probability will be Ravindra Jadeja. Keeping Jadeja’s all-round abilities in mind, it is very hard to keep him away from the playing XI despite Pandya’s return.
Recently, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been in the news more for his injuries, its reoccurrences than his bowling. One of India’s main weapons in limited-overs cricket, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s absence hurt India in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand. The right-arm seamer proved his fitness in the DY Patil T20 Cup and will be keen to lead India’s attack with Jasprit Bumrah.
Saini was wicketless in the two ODIs he played in New Zealand but was mighty impressive with the ball. His ability to extract extra bounce from the track and also bowl at the death with equal effectiveness makes him one of the front runners to grab that third seamers spot in the first ODI against South Africa.
Jasprit Bumrah went wicketless in the ODIs against New Zealand, making it the first instance of him not picking up a wicket in any series. India’s spearhead coped a lot of criticism for not being able to pick up wickets after coming from his injury. He will be eager to prove his critics wrong in the South Africa series.