Euro 2020 Special
 

India vs South Africa 3rd ODI Preview: Series on the Line in Delhi

The South African white ball tour of India concludes with the third ODI between the two teams to be played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, on Tuesday, October 11th. The match is scheduled to begin at 11.30 am local time.

The game has become a series decider. South Africa won the first match by nine runs in Lucknow, but India responded with a convincing seven-wicket victory in the second game in Ranchi. Both teams have every incentive to win.

Having lost the T20I series as well, the South African team will not want to head to the World Cup with another defeat under their belt. For their part, the home side will want to demonstrate that they have strength in depth with the longer version of the World Cup to come next year.

And even at this late stage, they have several players still hoping to play a part in Australia later this month.

 

Key Players

Shreyas Iyer

Iyer has had a fine series, making a half-century in the first game and following that up with an unbeaten 113, his highest ODI score, in the second. Already among the World Cup replacements, he has provided the selectors with a timely reminder of what he can do if required.

Mohammad Siraj

Another man looking to press his credentials for a World Cup place is Mohamad Siraj. He produced his second-best figures in an ODI in Ranchi, and another good performance in this game means that he will be a serious contender to replace the injured Jasprit Bumrah in Australia.

David Miller

Miller has provided glimpses during this tour of what he can do with the bat with an unbeaten century in defeat in the Second T20i, and then making 75 not out in the ODI win in Lucknow. His country may need another big innings from him this time if they are to leave Indian soil on a winning note.

 

Head to head

This will be the 90th ODI meeting between the two sides. India’s victory in the second match in Lucknow has narrowed the gap between the two sides again. They have now won 36 matches as opposed to 50 for South Africa, with the remaining matches ending in a no-result.

That win also snapped a sequence of four successive ODI losses to the Proteas side in 2022 (India lost all three games on South African soil earlier this year).

 

The pitch

Traditionally the pitch at the stadium in Delhi has favoured the batters with its small size boundaries. However, there has been a good deal of local rain in the area recently, and, with the ground under cover for much of the time, it could play slower than usual. At one time it gave some help to the spinners but has flattened out in recent years.

Dew could become a factor later in the match.

 

The weather

The weather remains a factor going into this contest. Delhi has been experiencing relentless rain, and over the weekend, more fell in a 24-hour period than the capital had experienced since 2007 in the month of October. Whilst spectators will be hoping for a day’s uninterrupted play, it would be no surprise if, like the first game in Lucknow, it has to be foreshortened.

 

Predicted teams

India can be expected to name an unchanged team. That means that Rajat Palidar and Mukesh Kumar, both of whom earned their maiden call-ups to the squad, will miss out on the chance to make their debut. There is just too much at stake to risk them in this match. Hopefully, their time will come.

For South Africa, the big question is whether their white ball captain Temba Bavuma will play. He missed out in Ranchi because he was supposedly ill, but many suspected he may have been dropped after a recent string of poor scores with the bat. If he does not lead the side in this match, it may be the clearest indication yet that his recent loss of form has cost him his World Cup place.

 

Prediction

India will believe that they are now the favourites for this match because of the way that they won the match in Ranchi. One of the problems that the tourists have had on this tour has been the inability of their bowlers to take wickets with any regularity and, with the exception of Keshav Maharaj, to exercise control over the scoring rate.

Given that the same personnel will essentially form part of their World Cup squad, this is a serious problem for them.

 

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