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India beat South Africa in the 5th ODI of the six-match series in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday (February 13) and completed a comfortable win, etching out their first ever ODI series win on South African shores. Ahead of the 6th ODI at Centurion, we take a look at the predicted XI line-ups of both the teams.
Captain Virat Kohli’s team will travel to Centurion to play the final 6th ODI of the series, which is nothing more than a dead rubber now. Having already pocketed the series 4-1, the Indian team management might look to tweak their combination a bit and test their bench strength in the process.
Here, we chalk out the predicted XI lineups of both India and South Africa for the 6th ODI on Friday (February 16).
India Predicted XI for 6th ODI against South Africa:
After a horrendous run of form in the Test series and the first four one-dayers, Rohit Sharma finally came to the party in the 5th ODI. Rohit’s sublime century at the top essentially laid the foundation for India’s win and also shut up his growing critics in the media and on social platforms. The Mumbai Indians-skipper will be looking to build on his first big knock of the tour and end the ODI series on a high in the 6th ODI.
It can be said that Shikhar Dhawan’s form at the top of the order has been absolutely crucial in India’s first ODI series win in the Rainbow nation. The Delhi southpaw has looked in great touch throughout the whole limited-overs series and he will be expected to produce more of the same in the 6th ODI at Centurion on Friday.
Virat Kohli (C)
With 429 runs and two match-winning hundreds to his name in the series, it is not surprising to see Virat Kohli leading the batting charts. The Indian skipper has led his team from the front throughout the duration of this tough tour and the run machine might just be eyeing another hundred to finish off the ODI series on a high with a magical 6th ODI.
After an encouraging half-century at the coveted Number 4 position in the 1st ODI, Ajinkya Rahane’s form has gone downhill and the Test vice-captain has been guilty of finding extremely ordinary ways of getting out in the series. Rahane will have to put up a good show in the 6th ODI which is the final one, to cement his place in the ODI setup.
With Kedar Jadhav out due to injury, the team management’s decision to include Shreyas Iyer in the side hasn’t yielded the desired results for India. Other than batting failures in the last two games, Iyer has also dropped crucial catches in the field. Karnataka’s Manish Pandey might get a chance to impress in the final 6th ODI of the series.
MS Dhoni (WK)
With every passing innings, it is becoming evidently clear that MS Dhoni is just not the same batsman anymore. The former Indian captain is clearly struggling to time the ball and has failed to finish off the innings for India, a job he was once known for. Nevertheless, Dhoni remains a key cog in this Indian lineup for the 6th ODI, and will be hoping to produce a ‘Mahi special’ to finish off this series.
After a counter-attacking 90 in the first Test, Hardik Pandya’s performances have generally been disappointing ever since and the Baroda all-rounder has failed to make much impact in the ODI series. Pandya has managed to get AB de Villiers out in the last two games but he will be out to stamp his mark on the 6th ODI in Centurion on Friday.
With the series already in the bag and nothing much to play for in the final ODI, captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri might think of bringing in Gujarat all-rounder Axar Patel in place of the extremely impressive Kuldeep Yadav. Axar is an effective ODI bowler and can also contribute some handy runs in the slog overs of the 6th ODI.
Like Axar, Mohammad Shami might also get a look in for the dead rubber in Centurion in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who has been a bit off-colour in the ODI series. While Bhuvi can do with some rest, Shami will be raring to go and showcase his skills with the white ball if given a chance in the 6th ODI on Friday.
After an impressive Test debut earlier on this tour, Jasprit Bumrah has been his usual effective self in the ODI series as well. The 24-year-old is the joint highest wicket-taker amongst the fast bowlers in the series and is currently rated the best death over specialist in world cricket, which is why we expect to see him in the 6th ODI.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been skipper Virat Kohli’s go to man in the middle-overs and usually answers his captain’s call with a crucial wicket or two. Mightily impressive in the first 3 ODIs, Chahal will be looking to add to his 14 wickets in the series and edge out partner Kuldeep to emerge as the series’ leading wicket-taker.
South Africa Predicted XI
Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram (C), JP Duminy, AB de Villiers, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen (WK), Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungisani Ngidi, Morne Morkel, Tabraiz Shamsi