Centurion: A historic collection triumph sealed, India are anticipated to place their bench energy to check whereas a vanquished South Africa would purpose for a consolatory win when the 2 sides sq. off within the sixth and ultimate ODI, right here on Friday.The Men in Blue have already received the six-match collection with a Four-1 margin, after victories in Durban, Centurion, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Their solely loss got here on the rain-affected fourth ODI in Johannesburg.
With victory within the final sport, India additionally confirmed their No.1 spot within the ICC ODI Rankings, taking on from South Africa who had been sitting atop in the beginning of this collection.
Having received the collection, India wish to stick with it momentum, particularly with the three-match T20I collection to comply with quickly after. Yet, the guests would additionally wish to discover a steadiness between going all out in a useless rubber and resting just a few gamers conserving in thoughts a protracted abroad schedule later this 12 months.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has almost performed continuous for the reason that limited-overs leg of the tour of Sri Lanka, that includes in 19 ODIs and 6 T20Is in addition to two Tests on this tour. Jasprit Bumrah too has performed 20 ODIs since that Lanka tour, together with eight T20Is and his workload has solely elevated provided that he performed via the Test collection right here as properly. Some relaxation will do each of them some good particularly forward of the following contest.
Alternately, India’s second line of tempo assault wants some consideration. Since that Sri Lanka tour, the Men in Blue have performed 20 ODIs and the Kumar-Bumrah duo has not featured collectively in solely certainly one of them — at Bengaluru towards Australia.
One approach to have a look at that is the sumptuous job they’ve completed because the foremost new-ball pairing in limited-overs’ cricket.
The different approach, after all, is that Team India is just too depending on them and will look to construct back-up choices, given the preparatory mode for the 2019 World Cup.
Mohammed Shami has solely performed three ODIs for the reason that 2015 World Cup. Ever since he returned from damage, he has featured twice towards West Indies (2017) after which as soon as towards Australia.
Shardul Thakur, the fourth pacer on this present squad, has solely ever performed in two ODIs. It suffices to say that India at the moment would not have a dependable second-choice tempo assault and regardless of the success of Kumar-Bumrah mixture, this facet wants pressing consideration.
The middle-order continues to be one other space of focus. There has solely been one half-century contributed from Nos. Four-7 on this collection. After Ajinkya Rahane’s effort in Durban, solely MS Dhoni got here shut on the Wanderers when he performed the state of affairs with 42 not out off 43 balls.
Shreyas Iyer has received begins in each the matches he has performed however didn’t capitalise. Rahane too has fizzled out since his comeback at No.Four. Hardik Pandya has scored 26 runs in 4 innings on this ODI collection. The gradual nature of pitches is without doubt one of the causes being attributed to this downturn.
With the top-order doing properly and primarily consuming out 30-35 overs in each sport, the middle-order has been pressured to bat in excessive gear more often than not.
It additionally must be talked about that South Africa’s loss of life bowling is seen to be their solely excessive level of the collection to this point.
Either approach, the Indian think-tank must pay extra consideration to their middle-order woes. Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik are within the squad but it’s robust to see each of them get a sport right here.
The Indian staff opted to not prepare at this time, taking this pre-match time off, on what has been a protracted and hectic tour. South Africa, alternatively, would need to end this ODI collection on a excessive and take contemporary guard for the Twenty20 International collection, which will get underway on February 18.
A clutch of their first-choice bowlers have been rested forward of Australia’s tour right here, and it’s the final bow for the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir and Lungi Ngidi towards India on this journey. They shall be eager to make an impression.
It stays to be seen if the Supersport Park pitch performs any totally different from the way it did within the earlier sport right here, which India received by 9 wickets in rampant vogue.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur.
South Africa: Aiden Markram (capt), Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Lungisani Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Khayelihle Zondo, Farhaan Behardien, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), AB de Villiers.
Match begins at: Four.30 pm IST.
First Published: February 15, 2018, 1:04 PM IST