After a rather surprising win in the 4th ODI, South Africa and India’s key players will be looking to prolong the outcome of the 6 match ODI series with a win in the 5th ODI in Port Elizabeth. Virat Kohli was visibly upset with the outcome of the last match, however, the outcome was majorly affected by the powers that are not in the hands of humanity.
However, India will go into the match at St. George’s Park knowing that if they can rectify some of the individual errors from Johannesburg, they could easily wrap up the series by taking a 4-1 lead. Here we look at the 5 key players to watch out for in the 5th ODI at Port Elizabeth.
It would be fair to say that Virat Kohli is the best batsman in the world right now and is currently experiencing the best phase of his cricketing career. The 29-year-old is breaking records for fun right now and surpassed former captain Mohammad Azharuddin to become the 5th highest run-getter in ODI cricket. During his innings of 75, the Delhi player also went past former Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mate Chris Gayle. Dismissing him early right now is the biggest priority for South Africa while bowling, however, not once has the captain looked in trouble during this whole one day series.
AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers is South Africa’s answer to Virat Kohli. The mercurial batsman missed the first 3 ODI’s due to a finger injury but returned to the playing XI for the 4th ODI. Even though he couldn’t finish the job in the last test match, it was his one over against Chahal that changed the tone of the game. De Villiers is one of the most feared batsmen in the world and India will be wary of his threat if he manages to cross 20-25 runs. If South Africa are going to draw this series, they will need their former captain to play a big role.
After being criticised heavily in the test matches, Shikhar Dhawan has managed to answer back his critics in fine style. He is the second highest run-getter in the series and scored a brilliant ton in the last match to give India a big target to defend. With Rohit still struggling to find his touch on one end, Dhawan has looked surprising very comfortable on the other. South Africa will love to get his wicket early as it would put a huge psychological pressure on the other Indian batsmen who are yet to be fully tested in the series.
After bamboozling the South African batsmen in the first 3 ODI’s, Chahal’s performance in the 4th ODI was hugely disappointed. What would have hurt the spinner the most was his no-ball that gave David Miller an important life-line at a time when a wicket of his calibre would have all but sealed the match. The 27-year-old leg-break bowler will be keen to get back to his lethal best in the 5th one-dayer in order to help his team seal the series win.
South African bowling department has been fairly disappointing during this series but if they are to have any hopes of turning this series around they will need their spearhead bowler Kagiso Rabada at his best for the remaining the 2 one-dayers. The 22-year-old is the highest wicket-taker for the hosts in this series but his 4 wickets have hardly led to anything great for the team, a criticism that has hardly been ever levied on him. He will be one bowler to watch out for as without his contribution, it could get very difficult for South Africa to contain the Indian batting line-up.