Date: 19 January 2022
Time: 2 PM IST
Venue: Boland Park, Paarl
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After the conclusion of the Test series, the action now moves to white-ball cricket with the two teams taking on each other at the Boland Park in Paarl. Both India and South Africa will hope to start the series on a high by winning the first ODI. India have a slight edge with a better team but South Africa have shown that they are capable of beating India at their own turf. Plus, they have the momentum in their favor having won the Test series 2-1. However, KL Rahul and Co. will bank on the previous tour heroics and back themselves to start the series with a win.
Head to Head:
The pitch at Boland Park produces a balanced contest by aiding both batsmen and the bowlers. The quick bowlers, in particular, enjoy a bit of movement early in the innings. However, since it’s a day game, the pitch is likely to remain flat in terms of lateral movement. The batters will enjoy playing here. Slower ball bowlers will have a little bit of role to play with the temperature remaining on the high side throughout the day.
With Rohit Sharma injured and ruled out, Shikhar Dhawan will partner KL Rahul at the top. Virat Kohli will take his usual batting position i.e. no. 3. All eyes will be on him as he will be playing purely as a batter for the first time since 2017. Plus, he had an incredible outing during the 2017-18 series. The middle-order is likely to feature Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, and Rishabh Pant in no particular order. Shardul Thakur is likely to fill the all-rounder’s slot. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will have an opportunity at his fore once again while Jasprit Bumrah will walk in as the vice-captain of the team. R Ashwin has been selected in the squad and will likely be given a go in the first game. He will be aided by Yuzvendra Chahal in the spin department who has a point to prove.
South Africa will have Quinton de Kock back in the side and he is expected to open the batting with Janeman Malan, who will be hoping for a good series after success in Sri Lanka. Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, and Rassie van der Dussen form the middle-order for the hosts. Bavuma has not been very good in white-ball cricket but having been given the responsibility to lead the team, he will want to score some runs. Plus, he had a good Test series and so Bavuma will back himself to do well. Andile Phehlukwayo will take the all-rounder’s place. Sicne Kagiso Rabada has been ruled out, Lungi Ngidi will have to lead the pace attack for South Africa. Moreover, it remains to be seen, who gets the nod between Marco Jansen and Dwaine Pretorious. Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj are likely to take the spinner’s slot.
Probable Playing XIs
India: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul (c), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Janeman Malan, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma (c), David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Conclusion: The 1st ODI is likely to be a good contest but India have a slight edge with the kind of players they have. South Africa will give a good fight but it seems like India will walk away with a win. Thus, the prediction is of India win.
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