Team India. (Photo Source: PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)
Having lost the second ODI by 8 wickets on Tuesday, December 19 at St George’s Park, Gqeberha, India will look to make a comeback in the third game on Thursday, December 21 at Boland Park, Paarl. Notably, the series is tied 1-1 and the Men in Blue will be desperate to win their second ever ODI series in South Africa after 2018.
In the second ODI, Sai Sudharsan (62 off 83) and captain KL Rahul (56 off 64) were the only two batters from India who scored half-centuries. Apart from them, no other batter could score over 18 runs as India were bundled out for just 211 in 46.2 overs. In reply, South Africa were chased down the target in 42.3 overs riding on a splendid hundred by Tony de Zorzi (119* off 122). Hence, India will be eager to make a comeback in the upcoming fixture and seal the series. In order to do that, they will have to field their strongest XI on the pitch once again:
Here’s India’s predicted XI against South Africa:
Openers: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan
Sai Sudharsan. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)
Ruturaj Gaikwad once again failed to leave his mark with the bat as he got trapped in front of the stumps by Nandre Burger for just four runs. Earlier in the first ODI, he was dismissed for 5. Hence, the 26-year-old will be eager to go big in the third ODI.
Sai Sudharsan has got a good start to his ODI career having scored half-centuries in both the matches so far. The southpaw scored a magnificent 55* (43) in the first ODI helping India chase down 117. Further in the second ODI, he scored 62 (83) with the help of seven fours and a six in a losing cause. The youngster will look to complete a hat-trick of fifties in the upcoming game and help his side win the series.
Middle Order – Tilak Varma, Sanju Samson (wk), KL Rahul, Rinku Singh
KL-Rahul-and-Sai-Sudharsan. (Photo Source: BCCI/Twitter)
Tilak Varma also failed to leave his mark in the series so far with scores of 1 and 10 against his name. The southpaw has shown glimpses of his immense talent in the T20Is having scored 310 runs from 15 matches. Hence, the 21-year-old will look to replicate his T20I heroics in the ODIs as well, as India look to level the series.
Sanju Samson finally got his much-deserved opportunity in the second ODI. However, he failed to make it count and got dismissed for just 12 (23). Samson has scored 402 runs from 13 innings in his ODI career at an average of 50.25 with three fifties to his name. Having been already ignored by the selectors numerous times, Samson will look to make the most of the opportunity in the third ODI and help his side win the series.
Captain KL Rahul scored a fifty in the second ODI as he played a knock of 56 (64) with the help of seven fours. However, he failed to convert it into a big score and the inexperienced Indian batting failed to keep the innings going getting bundled out for 211. Hence, the skipper will look to bat through the innings in the upcoming fixture and help India win the series in the third game.
Rinku Singh failed to leave his mark on his ODI debut getting dismissed for just 17 (14) in the second ODI. However, the swashbuckling finisher managed to get a wicket as he rolled his arm over in the second innings. Rinku will look to prove his worth in the ODIs in the third game and make a winning contribution for India.
All Rounder: Axar Patel
Axar Patel. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)
The spin all-rounder scored just 7 (23) in the second ODI and went wicketless after six overs giving away 22 runs. Patel unfortunately missed out on the squad in the ODI World Cup 2023 due to an injury but made a brilliant comeback in the recent T20I series against Australia. The southpaw will look to contribute with both bat and ball in the upcoming fixture and help India win the series.
Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar
Arshdeep Singh. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)
Arshdeep Singh sealed the game in the first ODI with his magnificent fifer (5/37) as South Africa were bundled out for just 116. The left-arm seamer further picked up 1/28 in eight overs in the second ODI in a losing cause. In the final game of the series, Arshdeep will be eager to bring his A-game to the fore once again and help India seal the series with another match-winning performance.
Avesh Khan bowled a brilliant spell in the first ODI in tandem with Arshdeep Singh as he picked 4/27 in eight overs. The right-arm seamer got the big scalps of Aiden Markram and David Miller. However, in the second ODI, he was a bit expensive and gave away 43 runs in eight overs. Khan will look to make amends in the final ODI and help his side win the series.
Kuldeep Yadav bowled an expensive spell of 0/48 in eight overs in the second ODI after picking 1/3 in 2.3 overs in the first one. The left-arm wrist spinner who’s made a remarkable turnaround in his career since 2022 will look to make a comeback in the final ODI and help Inia seal the series with an impressive bowling performance.
Mukesh Kumar hasn’t had a good beginning to his ODI career picking four wickets from five matches so far. In the second ODI, he gave away 46 runs from eight overs and failed to grab a wicket. Mukesh will be eager to put up a match-winning performance for his side and help his side win the series.
India’s predicted XI for 3rd ODI:
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, Sanju Samson (wk), KL Rahul (c), Rinku Singh, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar
Also Check: IND vs SA 2023 Batting and Bowling Stats