Preview: India vs South Africa ODIs

This time next week, the ODI series between India and South Africa would be already under way. During the interim, what transpired in the ODI series between Pakistan and South Africa is indeed interesting for the Indian team travelling to South Africa.  Under normal conditions you would not consider it very unusual for a 7th ranked team to beat 6th ranked team in any form of game. What happened here though is that Pakistan went on to beat South Africa, in their own backyard in back to back games.

The thought in every India cricket fan’s mind will be, can we do the same, being the number one ranked team against a lowly ranked South African team. This is where the rankings would probably not yield the same results as above. The reasons is what I want to explore and see if there are any possibilities.

Pakistan’s supply of young fast bowling talent always seems to be unending and the waiting list always seems to be as long as the waiting list for a spot in the Indian batting middle order. The two rookies Bilawal and Anwar seemed to have started off their International career on the right note. Their most experienced fast bowler is less than 20 games old. But still they seem to have enough fire power to contain the South Africans at home. Of course the trio has good support from the spin twins Ajmal and Afridi and some support from Hafeez. In spite of all the musical chairs that happen in Pakistan to find the winner for the wicket keeper position, which always is a player who has Akmal as last name, they still managed to win the series.

Coming to the depleting supply of fast bowlers that India have at their disposal, the probability of repeating what Pakistan does seem to be far-fetched. The Indian contingent is heavily reliant on Bhuvi to give the initial break through with the new ball and hoping that the spinners can contain a bit in the middle. Coming to the death bowling, the captain himself was contended that, the death bowling against West Indies was better compared to the Australian series. Not that Indian bowlers were bowling toe crushing yorkers at the West Indians, but it is just that they were bowling low full tosses. This comment from the captain needs to be read as a warning sign rather than as a positive sign of improvement. The South African bowling line up of Steyn, Morkel, Philander, McLaren, Parnell would be bowling in their back yards against a pack of the next-gen Indian batsmen out to prove themselves. This is their best chance to give back what they all receive from these Indian batsmen in the IPL J

Comparing the batting strengths of India and South Africa may not be a smart idea at this stage. While the new look Indian batting line up may not have set the stage on fire all over the world, they have a huge potential to do that, and the expectations are there too. For the likes of Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Rayudu/Rahane, the next twelve months would be crucial in their career as they step out of their comfort zone of sub continental pitches. South Africa apart from having the home advantage has at their disposal the likes of Smith, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers, Miller, Duminy facing a bowling line up which is trying to find a combination that is fit and reliable enough to last till the world cup.

In spite of this being a short series of only 3 ODI games, it is still very important in the context that this Indian team would be trying to find the magical combination that can defend their title Down Under, under not so batting friendly conditions. How they adapt to the change is what makes this ODI series interesting.

Here are a few links that will get fans of both teams into the ODI mode.

1. India’s greatest ODI [arguably] moment in South Africa [go to the 2 minute mark for the shot that all Indian Cricket fans want to see 🙂

2 South Africa’s greatest ODI moment in their own den.

Sportz Cosmos Prediction: India to end one of their most successful ODI year with a 2-1 win over the Proteas

RajuSK [RajuSK leads the efforts of our expedition team in the Cricket Galaxy You can reach him at our gmail ID: sportzcosmos ]

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30 thoughts on “Preview: India vs South Africa ODIs

  1. I like your perspective but was leaving out Shami out of analysis intentional? He has been clocking 140 even on placid Indian pitches. Overall going by the current ODI pitches around the world, I would wonder if SA would be any different than being batsmen friendly if batsmen are ready to apply themselves. If not for mental block, I think Indian team has very good ammunition to overcome SA in ODIs at least.

  2. I agree Ranjit, ODIs are a sure chance – but Test matches I think India will have to wait for vicotry in the next series in SA:)

  3. Ranjit,

    I think India have a fair shot at both the ODI and Test series. The mental block doesn’t apply in this case, as India has a young side who bear no mental scars of SA. Infact, MSD and Rohit Sharma must have fond memories with that 2007 T-20 WC win…

    I am goin to go 2-1 India in ODIs

    • Totally agree with Roger Laver, I think India left the mental block with the past gen. However bowling needs to improve. Shami is good but India need atleast another bowler to be consistent in the series to dominate SA. in tests I see ZAK coming in but ODI’s Dhoni must be praying to win the toss and bat first in 2/3 games

  4. Totally agree with the article. Dhoni also said the death bowling will not be the same as the West Indies and Australia series and asked us to look at the death bowling performance in champions trophy. but we will have to keep in mind that all the South African players are fresh from playing Ajmal, Hafeez and Rehman , the best mystery spinners which will make it easier for them to face Ashwin and jadeja

    • I feel every bowler is different and Proteas cannot relax thinking they played the best and rest will be a cake walk. My prediction is who ever wins the toss and bats first 2 out of 3 times will win the series

  5. I just cannot see India winning this. I go with 2-1 for SA. Which Indian batsman has shown himself adept outside the subcontinent against top quality fast bowling? Well, no one!

    • In ODI’s I dont see any difference in both the teams, SA have slight edge in bowling and India in batting. And Steyn already calling the curators to prepare batting friendly pitches so that RSA has the edge in bowling department, I feel it is more of who bats first

  6. Djokerfan, the new gen Indian bowlers seem to be doing well when they have pace. Take Irfan, Ishaan, even Zaheer in his initial days, when they had some pace and swing they were deadly. Losing pace, look what happened to them. In SA with pace and swing, no way Smith, AB, Duminy are going to be effective. Jacques is anyway in the twilight. Amla is the only person needed to be tackled. The more I think about it, SA is gonna get a spicy curry beating if they dont pull up their socks. I am going for 2-1 only because I think first match will always be hard to adjust to conditions.

  7. Ranjit, the South African bowling attack will destroy India. Just wait and watch. We will continue this conversation after the ODI series.

  8. Djoker Fan:

    That’s like saying you warned us the Sun rises in the east! When has stating the obvious become a warning. It was a good toss to lose.

    In the next ODI I am sure some Indian fan will shout “KNOCK OUT” and we all know what happens to Safrica when they hear that 😉

  9. This was a top class bowling performance by South Africa as expected. The unfortunate run outs did not help India’s cause. Rohit Sharma is playing the sheet anchor initially and then switches gears, and may be that is what the management direction for him is, so his run out, was unfortunate. If I am not mistaken, this is the 2nd time in last 3 or 4 innings that Yuvraj has been foxed like this. First comes a short ball and then he is mentally expecting another one and surprise !!!, the next ball is a fuller one and he is a goner.

    I honestly believe, this year is a decider for many of the IPL stars to shine at the international level. Dhoni should try both Rahane and Rayudu, instead of Yuvraj and Raina. Raina does not need to be tried overseas anyways, as he is our home tiger anyways 🙂

  10. Rajusk:

    Yuvraj’s troubles against short balls is perplexing! He is such a great player of fast bowling. Then again, when you are out of form, your very strengths become your weakness.

    I would like Rahane and Rayudu to get a look-in, but I say let us stick to these guys for this series…. Changes should be decisive and not chip and chop 🙂 So I say, any changes after the series is decided…

    I know you were not optimistic about India winning 2-1, but I am going to stick to it 🙂

  11. In his last nine ODI innings, Yuvraj has recorded four ducks, taking the total tally of his ODI naughts to 18. In ODIs this year, Yuvraj has averaged 19.71 with 276 runs in 15 innings, including just two fifties.

  12. Djoker Fan, I stand completely miscalculated with my predictions. Spineless batting show. Time to try something new like Dhoni moving up the order or some kind of calculated pinch hitting.

  13. Ranjit, We have been there done that…. As I keep saying, it doesn’t take a genius to predict a South African win.

    Even by South Africa’s , ahem, inability to handle pressure at home, they have always done well in bilateral series at home. ICC tournaments is another matter ofcourse. Yes, Djoker fan? 🙂

  14. Ranjit, well, the ease of the South African win has taken me by surprise! Maybe this will lower the expectations and take some pressure off India in the tests, leading them to perform better? Let us wait and see!

  15. How about a tribute to Madiba? anyone? Last night on willow HD there were many athletes paying tribute to the great man/legend. The most moving was Tiger Woods stating that he felt a peaceful presence in a room, and upon inspection saw the great man bent in meditation. Such was the life of this great legend, so humble, compassionate, grateful and giving. How about we all try and take a page from his book in bettering ourselves and all humanity?Perhaps TOBY? — fantastic writer!!!!

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