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    IND vs SA ODI series preview: India and South Africa will approach the series differently

    October 5, 2022

    After the conclusion of the T20I series, India and South Africa are taking two different approaches for the upcoming ODIs. South Africa would be approaching this series with a view to give their T20 World Cupbound players more cricket. They are pretty much unchanged from the T20 side and India are going the opposite way and resting almost all their team, which I think is right for them to do because they play so much cricket. With game time in the middle, it is also important to mentally freshen up and get ready for the World Cup.


    First, let’s talk about injuries in Indian camp

    What’s made things more interesting is what has happened with Jasprit Bumrah now. It is going to be fascinating to see how they are going to replace him. If it were me, I would go with Mohammed Shami considering he is fit enough. If he is not, then obviously Mohammed Siraj comes into contention, then there is Deepak Chahar. They have got a number of options to replace Bumrah. But for me, I would probably go with Shami keeping in mind the conditions in Australia.

    Deepak Hooda’s injury is also a setback. We don’t know how he is going to be replaced or will he get replaced? There has been no announcement made on that. It is a huge blow before the World Cup for India. Men in Blue already have lost Bumrah, the best in the world in my opinion, and Ravindra Jadeja, the best three-dimensional white-ball player going on currently. I mean you could argue Ben Stokes is another but there are not too many. For those two injuries to have come just near the World Cup is a massive setback for India. Not saying that they can’t cover them but that is still a huge blow. That is why India would be hoping Hooda recovers and there is no third injury.


    Indian ODI squad for SA still very strong

    Despite a number of stars missing, India’s ODI squad for South Africa is still very strong. It is a great opportunity for the likes of Avesh Khan, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar. From the bowling perspective, these three pacers are always on the edge of regular selection. It’s a great opportunity for them against a top side, particularly a top batting unit in South Africa. Then you are looking at the guys with the bat like Ruturaj Gaikwad, who I think is a terrific player. Rajat Patidar has done extremely well recently in domestic circuit and has been deservingly called, Shahbaz Ahmed coming in as a spin-bowling all-rounder. Kuldeep Yadav is back with Ravi Bishnoi as the two spin options. I am a big fan of Kuldeep and would like to see him play all three matches. Mukesh Kumar has had a good domestic season. It is a very good opportunity for him in this series as well.

    Shikhar Dhawan will play a major role in this series. Not just with the bat in hand but also as a leader. He gets huge respect for his leadership qualities. I see Dhawan playing a two-fold role in the side in this series. One, to get runs at the top order and two, to help guide and nurture some of these younger cricketers who have shown so much potential.


    More game time for SA’s World Cup-bound players

    As far as South Africa are concerned, they are going to be extremely competitive. I know things have not gone too well for them in the T20I series but they are going to be a force to reckon with, not just in the World Cup but also in this ODI series. The upcoming series is not a part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League and there would be no points at stake for Proteas men here. Hence, their single task would be ensuring their players are in good touch for the T20 World Cup.

    There has been a lot of pressure on captain Temba Bavuma for his lack of form and runs and questions have been raised on his place in the playing XI. I still believe he is a good captain. He has been out injured for 3 months. And comebacks are never easy.

    The question for me when he came back in was what they were going to do with the Reeza Hendricks situation who had done so well in place of injured Bavuma. Does he drop down or gets dropped? They had their captain coming back and a senior player too and there was Hendricks who has slammed four fifties in the last 5 T20Is he has played so there were going to be slight issues.

    But I still feel Bavuma is a good captain and all good captains need senior players around. And he has got the them around him. I think he will do a decent job and I think SA have a decent chance, not just in this ODI series, but in the World Cup. You look at the bowling lineup and you look at where the World Cup is, in the Australian conditions. Little bit bounce in the surface. There are not too many better bowlers than Kagiso Rabada with the new ball. If they can really have a bit of luck and surfaces which favours their pace attack, opposition will have to be at their very best to control them. I am rating South Africa quite highly under leadership of Bavuma.


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