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Other SportsSouth Africa v India 1st ODI – preview, squads, how to watch...

South Africa v India 1st ODI – preview, squads, how to watch and prediction

The State of Play

After levelling the rain-impacted T20I series against South Africa on Thursday, India return to the 50-over format for the first time since their heartbreaking World Cup final defeat to Australia on Sunday, taking on the Proteas in the first of three One-Day Internationals in the build-up to Christmas.

India will, of course, have a new captain here with KL Rahul back in the side to take charge in the absence of Rohit Sharma.

Rahul was part of the India team which crushed South Africa for a 243-run win in the World Cup’s group stage last month, though he will expect a much tougher test here, with the tourists’ side certain to look very different to that which made the tournament’s final on home soil.

South Africa were bowled out for just 83 in that rout in Kolkata, and things didn’t go much better for the Proteas across 20 overs on Thursday as they scored just 95 in another demolition job.

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Aiden Markram’s side will be desperate to bounce back from their semi-final exit at the World Cup, and they do have recent experience of overcoming India in this format, whitewashing the tourists on their last ODI tour back in January 2022.

With key faces missing for both teams, it promises to be an intriguing series, with both sets of fans simply praying the rain holds off after wreaking havoc on the 20-over contests.

Team News

Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are among the notable South African absentees for these ODI contests, with uncapped fast bowlers Nandre Burger, Mihlali Mpongwana and Lizaad Williams all making the cut.

Suryakumar Yadav, who scored a century as skipper in the third T20I on Thursday, is not part of the tourists’ 16-member ODI squad, alongside the likes of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Shubman Gill. Rinku Singh, Tamil Nadu and youngster Sai Sudharsan have been handed maiden ODI call-ups for the series.

With Rohit skipping the limited-overs tour ahead of the first Test beginning on Boxing Day, Rahul only has Ruturaj Gaikwad to call upon as a specialist opener, so Sudharsan will be looking to push Sanju Samson to start alongside him.

Full ODI Squads

South Africa: Aiden Markram (c), Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Verreynne, David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tony de Zorzi, Reeza Hendricks, Andile Phehlukwayo, Nandre Burger, Lizaad Williams, Ottniel Baartman, Wiaan Mulder, Mihlali Mpongwana.

India: KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rajat Patidar, Sai Sudharsan, Rinku Singh, Tilak Varma, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Avesh Khan, Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Kumar, Arshdeep Singh.

When and how to watch

The ODI series will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket in the United Kingdom. The opener is due to get under way at 8:00 UK time on Sunday, with TV coverage beginning at 7:30.

Prediction

It will be a young India side which takes to the field in Johannesburg, but the tourists should be buoyed by Thursday’s impressive T20I performance and have plenty of players looking to stake a claim in the absence of more seasoned pros.

Expect a far closer match than the one we saw when the teams last met in a 50-over contest at the World Cup, but we give the tourists the edge for this one.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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