South Africa vs. India: A Preview

1st ODI, Johannesburg

3 ODIs and 2 Test matches. That’s what the much-hyped biggest overseas tour for India looks like – it could be over before you blink. Nevertheless, with a very important era beginning – the post SRT Test era – this will be a crucial litmus test for India’s most inexperienced team in years to go overseas.
 
At the beginning of 2013, India had lost 8 consecutive tests overseas, won a meek series against WI at Home, and recently lost to England on home soil in tests – a shameful first – as well as an ODI series against rivals Pakistan on home soil.
Things could only go up from there.
 
 
And they did.
 
The BCCI churned its management wheels into action, and a few forced retirements and an IPL later, India were winning big ODI tournaments overseas out of nowhere. A young fearless group of batsmen surfaced – they were always on the fringes because of ‘senior’ dominance – and Team India hasn’t looked back since the Champions Trophy win back in June.
 
In the process, the much-feared South African tour – a tour that could have potentially been Tendulkar’s last and worst – got cut into half. 4 tests became 2, 5 ODIs became 3. India was running scared, said South Africa – and they were not entirely wrong. The BCCI had to make sure that the transition and farewell was smooth, positive and memorable. And they did.
 
Now its business time. A far cry from the friendly pitches that welcomed West Indies and Australia.
 
A rarity: the ODI series will take place before the tests. This will be to India’s advantage and confidence – because the Proteas have been a struggling limited overs outfit for a few years now. They have barely won anything recently, even losing to Pakistan 2-1.
 
They are unsettled and forever prone to the ‘C’ word – and India will begin as favorites in this bilateral series, especially after their 6th consecutive series win 2-1 against the Windies.
 
India’s ODI outfit looks settled and ridiculously strong even abroad. Their bowling will be bolstered by the return of Umesh Yadav along with Shami – a much needed pair in bouncy conditions. They missed a trick by not including Pujara for the ODI series though. He is an underrated limited overs batsman, but they seem to only be blooding him in the long form.
 
India’s probable 11: Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Yuvraj, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Shami, Yadav.
 
SA’s probable 11: Smith, Amla, De Kock, Kallis, De Villiers, Duminy, Miller, McLaren, Steyn, Tsotsobe, Tahir.

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1 Comment

  1. Shinoy Bhuvanendran

    December 3, 2013 at 11:40 am

    india jeet hai

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