After securing a historic and pride-salvaging win in the third Test in Johannesburg, India have played like an unstoppable force in the first two matches of the six-match ODI series, and will be looking to continue their winning run in the next match at Newlands in Cape Town so as to go 3-0 up in the series, but first we would need to look at the Predicted XI squads for both teams.
Led by the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, it has been India’s bowling that has been the architect of their win in the first two games. The bowlers have been well supported by captain Virat Kohli and the other Indian top-order batsmen. As a result, India are likely to go in with an unchanged team in the third ODI.
South Africa, on the other hand, have been plagued by injury problems throughout the ODI leg. With talisman AB de Villiers and captain Faf du Plessis already ruled out, the Proteas have now also lost wicketkeeper and opener Quinton de Kock for the rest of this series. Uncapped Heinrich Klaasen is likely to take his place in the side.
Ahead of the third ODI on Wednesday (February 7), we sketch out the predicted XI lineups for both South Africa and India.
India Predicted XI for 3rd ODI at Newlands
After being run out in the first ODI, Shikhar Dhawan looked in sublime touch in Centurion and made short work of South Africa’s total 118, playing an unbeaten knock of 51 runs. Despite lingering concerns over his ability to play in foreign conditions, there is no doubt that Dhawan has the ability to turn the course of any limited-overs game in a matter of few overs and is among the first picks in India’s ODI lineup.
Rohit Sharma was another player who struggled hugely in the test matches and was even dropped for the third Test. The Indian vice-captain’s struggles have continued in the ODI series but Rohit is one player who can come back into form in a blink of an eye and team India will be counting on him to produce the goods in Cape Town.
Virat Kohli (C)
The colossus that is Virat Kohli continue to churn out runs for India and after scoring a sublime century in the series opener, Kohli again looked in ominous touch in the 2nd ODI. It was only South Africa’s sub-par total of 118 that kept Kohli from getting to yet another hundred in Centurion. The Indian captain will be looking to maintain his good run with the bat and take his team to a 3-0 lead in the series in the next game.
After the first ODI, captain Virat Kohli couldn’t stop praising the performance of Ajinkya Rahane in the post-match presentation. The Mumbai batsman struggled to find a place in the playing XI the whole of last year but has started the new year brilliantly. Rahane was India’s highest run-scorer in the 2nd innings of the 3rd test match and followed that up with a brilliant 79 in the first ODI of the series. He will continue at No.4 for the third match of the series.
Other than rolling his arm over for a few overs in the middle of South Africa’s innings, there isn’t much that Kedar Jadhav has had to do in the first two games of the ODI series. Nevertheless, he remains a reliable middle-order batsman and a more than handy spin bowling option for his skipper.
MS Dhoni (wk)
Like most of India’s lower-middle order, MS Dhoni has also been a spectator in the first two matches of the ODI series (although he did come out to hit the winning boundary in the first ODI). The former captain does play an extremely crucial role in the field for his team and can be constantly heard chirping out bits of information and advice to captain Kohli and India’s young spin twins.
Hardik Pandya will continue in the bowling all-rounder’s role in the third ODI and will be hoping to put in a better performance after a sub-par show with both bat and ball following his heroics in the first Test about a month ago. The Mumbai Indians-player continues to enjoy immense faith of his captain and coach and will be looking to prove them right.
With Chahal and Kuldeep doing most of the damage with the ball, India’s frontline seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar hasn’t had much to do in the series so far. The 27-year-old swing king from Uttar Pradesh was the hero of India’s win in the final Test and will be looking to continue his good run on this tour.
Left-arm chinaman bower Kuldeep Yadav has been on fire in the ODI series so far and has already picked up 6 wickets in his first two games in the Rainbow nation. Kuldeep’s subtle variation and trickery have troubled almost every South African batsman, with the Uttar Pradesh-spinner succeeding in spinning a web around the Proteas.
Like Kuldeep, senior partner Chahal has also been extremely effective in the first two games of the series and even picked up the maiden five-wicket haul of his career in the second ODI at Centurion. In the post-match presentation, Chahal stated that he has the license to go for wickets at any stage of a game and will be looking to do the same in the next game.
Like Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah has also been overshadowed by the spin duo of Chahal and Kuldeep so far in the limited-overs series but it is highly unlikely that he will mind it one bit. Bumrah remains one of the finest exponents of death-overs bowling at present and will hope to put in yet another efficient shift in the third ODI in Cape Town on Wednesday (February 7).
South Africa Predicted XI
Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram (c), Khaya Zondo, Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi