The State of Play
South Africa hold the momentum after an impressive eight-wicket win in the 2nd ODI that levelled the series and set up a tantalising decider tomorrow in Paarl.
Opener Tony de Zorzi was the hero, helping the Proteas chase down their victory target of 212 with a superb 119 not out. Amazingly, his knock was greater than South Africa’s three previous ODI scores as a team against India – 116 (Johannesburg), 83 (Kolkata), 99 (Delhi).
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This series was all about players putting their hands up at the start of a new World Cup cycle and De Zorzi has done exactly that, as has pace bowler Nandre Burger who took three for 30 as India were skittled in Gqeberha for 211.
That total was restricted due a batting collapse that saw the last eight India wickets fall for just 97. Despite that, batting coach Sitanshu Kotak has already said there will be no change in approach from his side.
South Africa are likely to name an unchanged team given they have the momentum heading to Paarl.
India don’t have many options, particularly after releasing batter Shreyas Iyer to aid his preparation for the forthcoming Test series. Rajat Patidar may come in for Tilak Varma.
THE PROTEAS LEVEL THE SERIES 💪
The Proteas bounce back in emphatic fashion led by a stunning madien century by Tony de Zorzi 👌
— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) December 19, 2023
South Africa: R Hendricks, De Zorzi, Van der Dussen, Markram (c), Klaasen (wk), Miller, Mulder, Maharaj, Burger, Williams, B Hendricks
India: Gaikwad, Sudharsan, Rahul (c), Patidar, Samson (wk), R Singh, Patel, Yadav, A Singh, Khan, Kumar
What they said
South Africa captain Aiden Markram on the improved performance in the 2nd ODI
“That was not an acceptable performance [in the first game]. We let ourselves down in the first game. Strong emphasis to chase well, and the mindset was to chase it down well. Much more confident unit, I would assume, after tonight.”
India captain KL Rahul on the prospect of a decider
“We trust the players to come up with their own gameplan. Games like this will help them learn and get better as a cricketer.”
When and how to watch
The third and final ODI takes place in Paarl, starting at 1100 (UK time). It can be watched in the UK on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 1030.
The opening partnership of Reeza Hendricks and De Zorzi has breathed new life into South Africa. And with India missing a host of big-name players, expect the Proteas to build on Tuesday’s win and complete a series triumph.