India and South Africa are set to clash with each other in a multi-format series. India vs South Africa series will witness an ODI, T20I, and Test series. After three T20I games at the start, the men-in-blue will face Proteas in three ODI games on December 17, 19, and 21.
KL Rahul is the skipper of India in the ODI series as captain Rohit Sharma is not part of the series. South Africa will be led by their new ODI skipper Aiden Markram. When India toured South Africa last time in January 2022, they faced a 3-0 whitewash.
Hence, they will aim for a better show this time. However, the team needs to set a powerful playing 11 vs South Africa; which can challenge them on their home soil. Here we discuss India’s best playing 11 vs South Africa for the ODI series.
India Playing 11 for South Africa ODIs
KL Rahul (C)
KL Rahul is the skipper of India for the ODI series against South Africa. He will lead the team in the series. The right-handed batter should also be the opener for the side. He showed a wonderful form in the ICC World Cup 2023. Since there are no options for openers in the squad, Rahul might open for the team as he has good experience.
Also Read: India Playing 11 for South Africa T20Is
Ruturaj Gaikwad should be another opener for India for the ODIs against South Africa. In the recent T20I series against Australia, Gaikwad finished as the highest run-getter with a century and a half-century.
Shreyas Iyer will take the one-down batting position due to Virat Kohli’s absence. Iyer is a powerful middle-order batter for the team. Iyer slammed a crucial half-century in the 5th T20I match against Australia. He is a senior member of the squad and the best choice for a one-down position.
Tilak Varma should bat in the middle. Since India has many youngsters in the squad, they have to go ahead with lesser-experienced ones too. Varma has only played 1 ODI game in which he hit 5 runs. The left-handed batter has been impressive in T20Is, hitting 281 runs in 13 games averaging 40+. He has also hit 2 half-centuries.
Sanju Samson (WK)
Sanju Samson should keep the stumps for India for the ODI games against South Africa. He is back after being snubbed from World Cup 2023. Samson will bat in the middle. Since he is a more experienced wicketkeeper than KL Rahul, he should don the role of wicketkeeper.
In the absence of senior members, Rinku Singh might make his ODI debut for the team. Whether it was the Asian Games 2023, Ireland T20Is, or Australia T20I series, Rinku Singh has impressed with his hard-hitting batting style. However, now he needs to showcase his patience as he has been picked for the ODI series for the first time.
Axar Patel can be a good option for the spin all-rounder. In the recent T20I series against Australia, the left-arm spinner hunted 6 wickets in 5 games to become the second-highest wicket-taker for the team. He held the best economy rate of 6.20 in the series.
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are two spinners for India for the ODI series against South Africa. Since Kuldeep Yadav was part of the World Cup and Chahal has been out of the field for a long time, the former should be picked as a spinner in the playing 11. Yadav played in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 last month and picked 15 wickets in 11 games during the tournament.
Arshdeep Singh can be one of the pacers for the team. The left-arm pacer showed good form in the recent T20I series against Australia, picking 4 wickets in 4 games. The left-arm pacer has only played 3 ODI games in which he remained wicketless.
Mukesh Kumar can be picked as another pacer for India against South Africa. The right-arm pacer picked a three-wicket haul in the 5th T20I against Australia and played a major role in defending the target.
Mukesh Kumar was part of the ODI series against West Indies in August this year. He grabbed 4 wickets in 3 games at an economy of 4.60 during the series at a tough wicket for pacers. This time, he will benefit from the bouncy and flat pitches in South Africa.
Deepak Chahar should be another pacer for India against South Africa in the ODI series. Chahar is the most experienced pacer for India in the series. Chahar has returned to the field after a long time. He played in the 5th T20I against Australia recently and picked 2 wickets in the match.