South Africa vs India 2023: India’s strongest predicted playing XI against South Africa

Dec 18, 2023

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India v SA. (Photo Source: PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

The second ODI between India and South Africa is scheduled to be held at St George’s Park in Gqeberha on December 19, Tuesday. The KL Rahul-led side has already taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after winning the first game by eight wickets.

Speaking of the first ODI, India bowlers delivered an exceptional performance against the hosts at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Aiden Markram, South Africa’s captain, opted to bat after winning the toss, but his decision backfired as the team was dismissed for a below-par 116 runs. Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan played key roles for India, taking five and four wickets, respectively.

Sai Sudharsan dazzled in his debut, scoring an unbeaten 55 off 43 deliveries. Shreyas Iyer also contributed with a fifty as India comfortably chased down the target in just 16.4 overs.

Here’s India’s predicted XI against South Africa: 

Openers: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan

Ruturaj-Gaikwad. (Photo Source: X/Twitter)

Just as the first ODI, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sai Sudharsan are likely to open the innings for India. Gaikwad did not produce a significant knock in the first game but is expected to play a crucial role in the forthcoming match. The Chennai Super Kings’ batter so far accumulated 111 runs in five ODIs at an average of 22.20 and a strike rate of 71.61.

Sai Sudharsan made his international debut for India in the first ODI. The Tamil Nadu-born cricketer proved his worth in the first game itself, scoring an unbeaten 55 off 43 deliveries at a strike rate of 127.90 while the visitors were chasing a below-par 118 runs.

Middle Order: Shreyas Iyer, Tilak Varma, KL Rahul (C, wk), Sanju Samson

Tilak Varma. (Photo Source: RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Just like always, the middle order of India would possess significant firepower in the forthcoming game. Shreyas Iyer, who is in fine form could play a significant role in the second ODI. The 29-year-old scored a half-century in the opening ODI and helped India take the lead in the three-match series. This is his first ODI series after a remarkable campaign in the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

The upcoming match will be Tilak Varma’s third game in the format. He did not have a chance to play a substantial knock in the first match. However, the young batter could play a key role in the forthcoming game.

KL Rahul earlier hinted that he will be looking to establish himself as a middle-order batter in the future along with wicketkeeping duties. He has been batting in the middle and donning the gloves for some time apart from being an opener. He did not get a chance to bat in the first ODI but has showcased some noteworthy performances behind the stumps. He is expected to lead his side from the front in the upcoming game to seal the series.

Sanju Samson got a chance to play in the first ODI game after being continuously omitted by the selectors to feature in the format. He was supposed to bat at No. 5 or 6 but did not get a chance to bat. He is expected to prove his worth in the forthcoming game. Overall in ODIs, he has scored 390 runs in 14 games at an average of 55.71 and a strike rate of 104. It is worth noting that his best score of unbeaten 86 came against South Africa in 2022 in Lucknow. 

All-rounder: Axar Patel

Axar Patel. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Axar Patel could be the all-rounder in the Indian side for the upcoming match against the Proteas. Overall in ODIs, he has picked up a total of 59 wickets and scored nearly 500 runs.

Bowlers: Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar

Arshdeep-Singh. (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

The visitors could field a powerful bowling lineup just like they did in the first ODI. Kuldeep Yadav got the spot in the first ODI, following a match-winning five-wicket haul in India’s final T20I against the hosts. In the first ODI, the veteran finished with figures of 1/3, bowling for 2.3 overs.

Arshdeep Singh could be the threat to the South African batting lineup for the forthcoming series. The medium pacer who can excel in helpful conditions, picked up his maiden fifer for 37 runs in his full quota. The 24-year-old also emerged as Player of the Match for his match-winning spell.

Avesh Khan could also pose a significant challenge against the Proteas, who picked up a four-wicket haul while conceding 27 runs in the first game. He had no remarkable performances in the 50-over format, but he validated his abilities in ODIs with a noteworthy spell.

Mukesh Kumar, who has played only four games in the format has claimed a total of four wickets for India. In the T20I series against the Proteas, he claimed three wickets in two matches. the 30-year-old is expected to showcase his bowling skills in the forthcoming game to help his side clinch the series.

India’s predicted XI for 2nd ODI:

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan, Shreyas Iyer, Tilak Varma, KL Rahul (C)(wk), Sanju Samson, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar

Also See: IND vs SA 2023 Batting and Bowling Stats

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