After suffering a 2-1 defeat in the Test series against South Africa, Team India would look to make a statement in the upcoming three ODIs.
The first one-day international is slated to take place at Boland Park, Paarl on Wednesday. In the absence of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul will lead the team, while Jasprit Bumrah will assume the vice-captain duties. Here’s a look at our predicted playing XI of India for the first ODI.
SA vs IND: India’s Predicted Playing XI Against South Africa– India vs South Africa 2022, 1st ODI
Openers: Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul
In the absence of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul is likely to open the batting alongside Shikhar Dhawan. KL Rahul promoting himself would mean that Ruturaj Gaikwad is likely to sit out, at least for the first ODI.
Shikhar Dhawan’s consistent performances in the ODI format have helped him retain his place in the team. He should be the first-choice opener for the first ODI.
Middle-Order: Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant
For the first time in four years, Virat Kohli will be playing in the team not as a captain but only as a player. Having said that, he remains an integral part of India’s team. He is likely to form the middle-order with the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.
All-rounders: Venkatesh Iyer and Shardul Thakur
Since making his debut for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL, Venkatesh Iyer has made rapid strides in his career. He made his T20 international debut against New Zealand in November. Ahead of the first ODI against South Africa, he is expected to make his ODI debut.
Venkatesh Iyer is coming into the side on the back of impressive performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Batting in the middle-order, he scored 379 runs in 6 matches at an average of 63.17. Besides, India are likely to go with Shardul Thakur as well in a bid to add more balance to the line-up.
Bowlers: Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuvzendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj
The last time India visited South Africa for the ODI series in 2018, Yuvzendra Chahal wreaked havoc with the ball. Team India would be hoping that he exhibits similar performances this time around as well. Besides, Ravichandran Ashwin should play as the second-spinner in the playing eleven.
Jasprit Bumrah will go into the series with an added responsibility. He is the vice-captain of the team in the series. Without a doubt, he will hold key to India’s fortunes. For the other seam-bowling option, Mohammed Siraj is likely to be the front-runner.