South Africa vs India: Third ODI Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

We preview the third ODI between South Africa and India set to take place at PPC Newlands on Wednesday 7 February. 

The Proteas desperately need to find a way to effectively combat the wrist-spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Alternatively, they face the reality of not having the chance to win this series with three matches to go after Wednesday’s encounter.

For India, it’ll be more of the same against the injury-ravaged South Africans with the hosts' Vision 2019 Plan needing to bear fruit now if Ottis Gibson’s men want a chance to win this series.

South Africa vs India | Wednesday 7 February | PPC Newlands, Cape Town | 13:30

To Win Match
South Africa 31/20
Tie 35/1
India 52/100 

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South Africa
The South Africans need a miracle if they are to turn this series around now. The batsmen have shown that they’re simply not able to cope with the skills of Yadav and Chahal while injuries to the core of the top order means they’ll probably surrender the chance to win this series at the very least.

AB de Villiers will miss the next ODI while Faf du Plessis may not even be ready for the touring Australians as he recovers from a broken finger. Quinton de Kock is the latest casualty after suffering a blow on his wrist off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah with reports indicating that he could be out for between two and four weeks.

What this means for the Proteas then is the acceleration of ‘Vision 2019’ with the likes of Khaya Zondo and Heinrich Klaasen needing to put in big performances against the Indians. Zondo actually played quite well for his 25 with his side in turmoil, it was a mature performance from a man whose game has improved since taking over the captaincy at franchise level.

Klaasen, of course, if a supremely talented cricketer as he has shown for a number of years on the domestic scene for the Multiply Titans. He will need to grab his chance now, and while he is unlikely to unseat do Kock as the number one choice ‘keeper. He can at the very least put a bit of pressure on his Titans teammate.

In terms of bowling, I don’t think playing Tabraiz Shamsi and Imran Tahir together is the answer. I still think that Keshav Maharaj would have been the better option with either of the two wrist spinners. Simply mirroring India’s strategy won’t keep the South Africans in this series.

This is especially true when Andile Phelukwayo’s place in the side is sacrificed to accommodate the two leggies. The Hollywoodbets Dolphins’ all-rounder was one of the host’s better bowlers down in Durban and adds some much-needed depth to a batting line-up that has struggled to cope with the Indian attack.

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India
India will be absolutely thrilled with the start they’ve made to the ODI segment of this tour. Two dominant chases set-up by some fine displays from the Chahal and Yadav bodes well for the Indians as they prepare for Newlands – a ground that typically favours spinners.

The visitors will be desperate to claim their first ever bilateral ODI series win in South Africa and will feel that this is the time to break the duck. There’s no real pressure on the visiting management core to change the team up too much either.

Both the batsmen and the bowlers have been superb in equal measure. Virat Kohli hasn’t looked like relinquishing his wicket cheaply while Shikhar Dhawan’s half-century in Pretoria couldn’t have come at a better time for a player who had endured an indifferent tour of the Republic so far.

Looking ahead, you can be sure that both wrist spinners will be included in the playing XI and will be introduced sooner rather than later. The seam duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Bumrah are sure to cause problems and will look to expose the middle and lower order for the spinners to pick off. Assuming that they execute their skills effectively, the Proteas are in for another torrid ODI.

Verdict: India 52/100
You simply can’t back South Africa here. Not with the start that they’ve made to this series along with how many key players they’re missing to injury. India are tipped to come away with the win at Newlands. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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