India Squad For South Africa ODI Series

Team India will be back to playing the bilateral ODI series after the World Cup final loss as they are set to travel to South Africa in December for a full-fledged ODI series.

India will be playing a three-match T20I series followed by a three-match ODI series and two-match Test series between December 1-, 2023-January 7 2024. The last time India visited the Proteasn shores they lost the Test series 2-1 and were whitewashed in the ODI series.

Team India could not continue their dream run in the World Cup as they lost the final against Australia in Ahmedabad on Sunday. This was after they won 10 matches on the trot in the lead-up to the final. They defeated South Africa by 243 runs in Kolkata as they bundled the Proteas out for just 83.

South Africa will pose all sorts of challenges to the visiting Indian team across formats. This tour will be on the back of a World Cup final loss as well which will take its time to ink in. There will be pressure on the players to get back into the groove and start performing all over again.

Given that India will be playing all three formats in this tour, in this article, we predict the likely Indian ODI squad for the series. We pick a possible 15-member squad that might be named for the three-match ODI series to be played between December 17-21.

India Squad For South Africa ODI Series

Openers- Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill

IND vs SA: Shubman Gill Shares His Learnings From Rohit Sharma And Virat Kohli
Photo Credit: (ACC)

Rohit Sharma should be back as the captain of the side for this upcoming tour. He led from the front in the World Cup and was tactically an astute and sound captain. He was praised for his captaincy by one and all. Alongside him, Shubman Gill should open. He scored over 350 runs in this World Cup and certainly gave enough signs as the man for the future across formats for Team India. Gill has already scored over 1000 runs in this calendar year and will get a chance to add to his tally.

Middle-Order: Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli Photo Credit: (ICC)

Kohli and Iyert should feature in the middle-order for the Men in Blue. The former Indian skipper finished the World Cup as the Player Of The Tournament with 711 runs in 11 matches. In the process, he broke a plethora of batting records including surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 49 ODi hundreds. Kohli now sits on 50 ODI tons which is a record on its own.

Shreyas Iyer, it will be fair to say has cemented his position at number four after this World Cup performance. He notched up 530 runs including two centuries at an average of 66.25. He has the ability to up the scoring rate and play according to the situation and should get a longer run at that number.

Wicketkeepers- KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul
Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul (Credits: Twitter)

KL Rahul should play as the specialist wicketkeeper and bat at number five. He has been a revelation at that number and should be given a longer rope. He showed maturity to bat at that number and soak in pressure. Rahul also showed brilliant glovework in the World Cup affecting 17 dismissals.

Talking about Ishan Kishan, he can be the second opener in the lineup and a backup wicketkeeper with Rishabh Pant yet to get fully fit. The southpaw has made the most of the chances given to him.

All-Rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur

Hardik Pandya-Ravindra Jadeja
Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Jadeja will be one of the two all-rounders for the South Africa ODIs. He has shown how good with the ball he can be in this World Cup. He made decent contributions with the bat as well.

Talking about Hardik Pandya, he was ruled out of the World Cup due to an ankle injury and is expected to be sidelined for at least two months. In case he is not fit to play, Shardul Thakur can be a like-for-like replacement for Pandya. He has a knack for breaking partnerships and can also make handy contributions with the bat.

Pacers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna

IND vs PAK: Irfan Pathan Wants Indian Bowlers To Be Aggressive Against Pakistan
Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Bumrah and Shami should lead the Indian pace attack in conditions that will assist seam and swing bowling. The pace duo should be backed in the conditions. The management needs to draft Arshdeep Singh into the squad and use his left-arm swinging ability with the ball. So far, they have mostly seen him as a T20I specialist and it’s time that they allow him to transition his game.

Regarding Deepak Chahar, his fitness might foresee his future in this series. If fit, he should be definitely picked as the fourth specialist seamer. He can swing the ball in helpful conditions and is a handy lower-order batter. The management should do away with Mohammed Siraj in ODI cricket for some time, and give him a break. He was the most expensive bowler for India in this World Cup and erratic as well.

The pacer can get back to playing domestic cricket for some time before playing his next ODI for the Men in Blue. Prasidh Krishna can be another option. He was with the Indian team for the last leg of the World cup and can be a good addition in South African conditions.

Spinners- Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav
Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Kuldeep Yadav is the specialist spinner India might go with against South Africa. He was picked ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal for the World Cup for his tremendous comeback into the ODI side and the management might continue with him as the specialist spinner in the side. He picked up 15 wickets in the World Cup 2023.

Also Read: Sachin Tendulkar Pens Down A Heartfelt Message After India’s Loss To Australia In The World Cup Final

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