South Africa vs India: Sixth ODI Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

We preview the sixth and final ODI of India's tour to South Africa. The match is set to take place on Friday 16 February at SuperSport Park Centurion. 

The records continued to tumble in Port Elizabeth where India secured their first ever ODI victory at the ground along with their first ODI series win against South Africa in the Republic. 

While the series is done and dusted, Ottis Gibson will demand nothing less than victory from his charges as they look to salvage a bit of pride. Can the injury-hit South Africans deliver or will India win once again? Let’s take a look.
South Africa vs India | Friday 16 February | SuperSport Park Centurion | 13:30

To Win Match
South Africa 5/4
Tie 35/1
India 67/100

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South Africa
Following the highs of the Wanderers in the Pink Test, the Proteas crashed back to earth following yet another middle / lower order capitulation against wrist spin in Port Elizabeth. What would have made the defeat all the more disappointing was the incredible fight back the bowlers showed following Rohit Sharma’s onslaught earlier on in the day. 

Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phelukwayo were the pick of the bowlers for me with the former returning career best ODI figures of 9-1-51-4. Phelukwayo – who had taken a bit of stick for his recent bowling performances was conceded just 34 from his eight overs without taking a wicket. 

Batting wise, Aiden Markram made another good start that he was unable to convert into anything of real substance. Perhaps the pressure of being thrust into the captaincy is affecting his performances? If this is the case then a swift solution needs to be found – perhaps it’s time for one of the senior members of the squad to step up and take on the job until Faf returns from injury?

Looking ahead, JP Duminy needs to either drop further down the order or be dropped from the side totally. You simply can’t have a guy who’s played 184 ODIs with a batting average in the mid-thirties coming in at three for a team like South Africa. 

I’d drop Duminy and AB up into three with David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen each moving up the order. This allows Khaya Zondo back into the side. The Hollywoodbets Dolphins’ captain has proven that he is able to cope pretty well with the spin and deserves another crack at this level. If he is selected, he will need to improve his scoring rate which has been pretty abysmal in this series. 

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India
The Indians really have cruised to victory in this series and definitely don’t look like losing on Friday when the sides meet in Centurion. You could argue that the only reason the Indians lost at the Wanderers was due to untimely rain delays and a wicket off a front-foot no-ball which allowed Miller a second chance.  

Rohit Sharma was the hero for the visitors in Port Elizabeth on a day where Virat Kohli was sub-par with the bat. The openers' 115 was the first real innings of substance he’s put together on this tour. He’ll now look to push on from here in the final ODI and throughout the T20 Internationals. 

It’ll be interesting to see what the Indian management does for the final ODI. With the series wrapped up, it might be worth giving the likes of Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya - who have played in every match on this tour - a break before the T20s get underway on Sunday.

The wrist-spinners, of course, will likely prove to be the decisive figures once again. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been sensational across the ODI's picking up 30 of the 43 South African wickets to fall in the segment of the tour at an insane average of 13.63. Don’t at all be surprised to see the duo run through the South African middle and lower order once again on Friday.

Verdict: India 67/100
You simply can’t back South Africa – not on their performance throughout this series. Although India have secured the series, you can rest assured that the ever-tenacious Virat Kohli will demand that his side keep the pressure on the hosts. Big value here at 67/100.

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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