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|AB de Villiers||26||18||1||2||144.44|
India won the third match of the series with ease and is now assured of at least sharing the silverware. That will be the furthest thing from their mind, though, at the moment as they continue to dominate the South Africans in a manner that is rarely seen. The hosts will get a boost as AB de Villiers returns from injury but to expect him to change everything around immediately may be hoping for a bit too much. Can South Africa stop the Indian juggernaut or will India march on to a 4-0 lead?
While a few things changed for South Africa in the last match, the narrative remained the same. They won the toss and elected to chase on a pitch where they should have been batting first. They then proceeded to witness a Virat Kohli master class and then capitulated to spin once again.
There were reports of five different spinners being brought into the South African nets and talk about using the feet, rotating the ball, and being more selective about the shots they play but nothing seemed to have any effect. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal took 8 wickets between them as the South Africans completely fell apart in their wake.
The difference between the two sides has been the batting and so the return of AB de Villiers could not come at a better time. The official talk from the side has been that de Villiers will go through a fitness test on Friday and then play if he is considered fit but we think at this point of time South Africa has no option but to get de Villiers back in.
AB de Villiers looked in sublime form during the test matches and he is considered to be one of the best in the world in the ODI format as well. He also loves playing in pink, which this ODI will be to raise awareness about Breast Cancer. In 6 previous such matches, South Africa has never lost and de Villiers also scored the fastest ODI century of all time dressed in pink.
We also expect Farhaan Behardien to get a game. While he has not done what was expected of him in previous international chances, Behardien has been in red-hot form in domestic cricket. He is also one of the better players of spin and that in itself is as good a reason as any to give him a game.
The return of these two batsmen could mean that Khaya Zondo and David Miller/Phehlukwayo sit out the next match. South Africa has to win the next three matches to avoid a series defeat to India and while that may seem quite far away right now, winning the next match and keeping the series alive will be their immediate goal.
Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Jean-Paul Duminy, AB de Villiers, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi.
Virat Kohli was lucky to survive a close LBW shout on 0 and then proceeded to put on an absolute clinic of how to construct an ODI innings. His 34th hundred, 4th in the last 6 matches, helped India post a total that was way beyond what South Africa could manage.
There is no doubt that Virat Kohli was exceptional in scoring 160 out of a total of 303 but the form of some of the other batsmen must concern India. Rohit Sharma’s horror South Africa tour continues and people have already started labeling him a home-conditions bully.
Shikhar Dhawan played a brilliant inning but he too would like to convert this sparkling form of his into some big scored. Ajinkya Rahane seems to be set on trying to prove he is aggressive enough in the middle overs to fit into this Indian side. He should just play his natural game as that is more than enough for what India is looking for.
Three out of the top-4 are in form, though, and so that is fine for India but the lower middle order is struggling. Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, and MS Dhoni have not had frequent opportunities to play long innings but the few chances they have had have not been utilized.
India must ensure that they overlook their weaknesses just because they are winning at the moment. The goal of this Indian team is clearly to try and win every match but they should also be looking a little bit long term and building towards the world cup.
We would like to see Manish Pandey being given a chance in place of Kedar Jadhav in the upcoming matches.
India’s bowling has been brilliant this series. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have taken 21 wickets between them in this series already and are absolutely bossing the middle overs. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar are also ensuring that the pressure does not get lifted off of the South Africans during the start.
Hardik Pandya did a better job of the fifth bowler in the last match but that will be one potential weak spot that opposition teams could target. It will be interesting to see what kind of tactics the Indians employ against AB de Villiers because he is not going to sit back and just let them bowl.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, V Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, YS Chahal, JJ Bumrah.
The weather forecast for this match is not good as rain is predicted a large part of the day. We think this game could get rained out or be reduced greatly in length. Either way, the situation is not ideal for the South Africans that need a win. India on the other hand will be happy to sit out and claim a series victory. If the match does get played then a lot of attention will be focused on the pitch. We are sure it will be a flat batting deck with a fair amount of bounce and carry.
Rain will make a result being reached difficult in this match but if we are lucky enough to get a game in then we expect India to continue their winning streak.
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