India will end the current international cricket season with the three-match home ODI series against South Africa. They will play the opening game of this series on this Thursday (12th March) at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (Dharamsala).
India played their last ODI series in New Zealand last February. It was the three-match ODI series and the hosts New Zealand won that series by 3-0 margin.
Last time, India and South Africa met in an ODI at Southampton (5th June 2019) during the round-robin stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. India won that match by six wickets with 15 balls remaining.
India vs South Africa 2020: Here is India’s predicted XI for the upcoming Dharamsala ODI.
Though youngster Prithvi Shaw didn’t play the big knocks in the ODI or Test series in the recently concluded New Zealand tour, his aggressive starts were impressive. Shaw scored 84 runs in his first ODI series, which was the recent three-match series in New Zealand. ]
While Rohit Sharma isn’t available yet, and the team management is using KL Rahul for the middle-order batting, Shaw is likely to continue his place in the ODI squad.
Since 2019, Shikhar Dhawan has faced hard times as he missed out many international matches due to his fitness issues. When Dhawan played the last international series, which was the three-match home ODI series against Australia, the left-handed opening batsman was in great form.
In the last three international innings, Dhawan scored 52 (T20I), 74 (ODI) and 96 runs (ODI) respectively.
The team is waiting to see Dhawan in the same form with the bat. In the recent DY Patil T20 Cup 2020 final, Dhawan scored 69 runs off 41 balls.
Virat Kohli (C)
The Indian skipper Virat Kohli is currently the no.1-ranked ODI batsman. However, the right-handed batsman recently had a horrific tour with the bat in New Zealand.
But, most experts are confident enough on Kohli quick return in the batting form.
While the team management was struggling for a long time to find out the proper batsman for the no.4 batting position in the ODI format, the 25-year-old Shreyas Iyer has solved this issue at the present moment.
Though India suffered a whitewash in the recent ODI series in New Zealand, Iyer finished that series as the most run-scorer as he scored 217 runs in three matches with an average of 72.33. In that ODI series, the right-handed batsman scored 103, 52 and 62 runs respectively.
KL Rahul (wk)
As a wicketkeeper-batsman in the limited-overs format, KL Rahul is playing very well, especially with the bat. He is not only scoring consistently but also handling every role as a batsman positively.
In the New Zealand tour, while Rahul won the Player of the Series award in the T20I series for finishing as the leading run-scorer, the right-handed batsman also finished as the second most run-scorer during the ODI series of that tour.
During that ODI series, he scored 204 runs in three innings (average 102.00). In the last eight ODI innings, Rahul scored 102, 77, 47, 80, 19, 88*, 4 and 112 runs.
As a middle-order batsman, Manish Pandey is playing maturely. He is another Indian middle-order batsman who is currently in very good form with the bat. But most importantly, the right-handed batsman is not losing his wicket easily.
Apart from two T20Is, Hardik Pandya hasn’t played any more international matches since the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 due to undergo his back surgery.
The Indian cricket fans are eagerly waiting to see him in the upcoming series as the team and fans have missed him in recent times. In the recent DY Patil T20 Cup 2020, Hardik batted furiously and scored 347 runs in five innings with an average of 86.75 and strike-rate of 232.89, including two centuries.
Also, with the ball in hand, Pandya bagged 14 wickets in that tournament, including two five-wicket hauls.
The right-arm pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar also struggled with the fitness issues from the last year. While he played the last ODI in last August during India tour of West Indies, his last professional match was also against West Indies but in the home T20I series in last December.
The 30-year-old needs to prove himself in the upcoming series as many pacers are fighting to earn a spot in the Indian team.
The right-arm fast bowler Navdeep Saini has impressed with his bowling skills in the early international career.
Though he struggled during the limited-overs series in the last New Zealand tour, the team management hasn’t lost their faith on him.
Since his return after recovering from the injury, Jasprit Bumrah has performed well enough but has failed to take wickets consistently.
The right-arm pacer needs to make more improvement in his bowling to return to his old dominating rhythm.
The present second-ranked ODI bowler recently lost the top spot of the ICC ODI bowling rankings.
The leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal bowled well during the last ODI series in New Zealand tour as he finished as the joint-most wicket-taker in that series (six wickets). However, he still needs to perform consistently to fix his spot in the ODI playing XI.