South Africa vs India 1st ODI Preview: Licking their wounds, a transitional Team India aim to settle scores
With KL Rahul leading the visitors in the absence of newly-appointed white-ball captain Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah as his deputy, Team India is in a state of transition.
Time to move on
Win or lose, there is hardly any time to celebrate or commiserate in this booming cricket ecosystem.
As India lick their wounds after their unexpected 2-1 series loss to South Africa in Tests, it is now time to change into coloured clothing and get on with the game.
India played their last ODI in July 2021
It has been a long time since India played an ODI. In fact, the last time the team took the field in a one-day international, it was against Sri Lanka at the Premadasa Stadium back in July 2021 with Shikhar Dhawan as their captain.
India went on to win the series against Sri Lanka by 2-1 despite playing a second string side with most of their major players in England for the World Test Championship final and the Test series against England.
South Africa find their feet
The last big ODI series that South Africa played was also against Sri Lanka in September last year, with the team losing to the home side by 2-1.
Given that there has not been enough time to recuperate after the taxing Test series, it will be interesting to see the players that both teams pick in their playing XI.
Onus on leaders Rahul and Bumrah
India are undergoing a serious transition and there are new individuals with responsibility on their shoulders. After Virat Kohli was sacked from captaincy, Rohit Sharma was named the full-time Indian white ball captain but he picked up an injury just before the tour and was ruled out.
KL Rahul has now been named the captain, with Jasprit Bumrah as his deputy.
Rahul, who has generally been batting in the middle order in one day internationals, is expected to open the batting alongside Shikhar Dhawan. At the same time, India will definitely want to fit in Ruturaj Gaikwad who has been in sensational form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Kohli to play w/t the captain's armband
Virat Kohli will be playing in the capacity of a player and not as captain for the first time since February 2016. He will bat at number 3, with Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer competing for the number 4 spot.
The all-round ability of Venkatesh Iyer and his form is likely to land him the spot at number 5. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant will bat at number 6.
Ravichandran Ashwin is slated to make his one day international comeback in the absence of Washington Sundar. He will have leggie Yuzvendra Chahal for company in the spin department. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar and Jasprit Bumrah are likely to be the three Indian pace bowlers.
Will Marco Jansen make his ODI debut?
South Africa welcome back Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock - two of their leading run scorers in the format in recent times - for the one day series. Opener Aiden Markram will like to right the wrongs in the ODIs, with Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen and captain Temba Bavuma featuring in the middle order.
It will be interesting to see who out of Marco Jansen and Lungi Ngidi plays. Given the lack of fitness of the latter, the lanky pacer is likely to make his ODI debut.
Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi are South Africa's spin options. As always, Kagiso Rabada will lead their pace bowling attack.
Predicted playing XIs
India - KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
South Africa - Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Andile Phehlukwayo, Marco Jansen/Lungi Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
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