India National Cricket Team
Image Source: Twitter

India haven’t made a winning start to the ongoing ODI series against South Africa as they lost the first ODI by 31 runs on Wednesday. After conceding 296 runs in the first innings, India, in reply, managed to score 265 runs in the second innings.

The middle-order yet again crumbled under pressure, while the spinners too failed to pick wickets in the middle overs. Ahead of the second ODI on Friday, here’ a look at our predicted playing XI of the Indian Cricket Team:

SA vs IND: India’s Predicted Playing XI Against South Africa– India vs South Africa 2022, 2nd ODI

Openers: Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul

Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul
Image Source: Twitter

Shikhar Dhawan played an outstanding knock under pressure in the first ODI on Wednesday. There were questions marks over his place in the team ahead of the first ODI.

However, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul shut down all the critics with a valuable 79-run knock of 84 deliveries. KL Rahul, unfortunately, got out early after scoring 12 off 17 balls. Nevertheless, he would look to perform better with both as a batsman and as a captain in the next game.

Middle-Order: Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Credit: AFP)

Virat Kohli notched up his 63rd half-century in the last game but the wait for the century continues. He scored 51 off 63 balls, however, the likes of Shreyas Iyer (17 off 17) and Rishabh Pant (16 off 22) got out without making a significant contribution.

For India to do well in ODIs, the middle-order has to come well under pressure, and thus, the likes of Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer ought to exhibit a bit more consistency with the bat.

All-rounders: Venkatesh Iyer and Shardul Thakur

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur (Image Credit: Getty)

Surprisingly, India didn’t give Venkatesh Iyer a single over with the ball in the first ODI.  With that bat, Iyer got out for just 2 runs in 7 deliveries.

Iyer provides a sixth bowling option to the team and India aren’t likely to make him sit out for the next game. Shardul Thakur was expensive during his 10-over spell but made a half-century with the bat. India could bring an extra seamer in place of him but his ability to contribute heavily with the bat might help him in retaining his spot.

Bowlers: Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, and Yuzvendra Chahal

Jasprit Bumrah. Photo- Getty
Jasprit Bumrah. Photo- Getty

There is no denying the fact that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is no longer the force that he used to be. He hasn’t looked penetrative with the ball and India should replace him with Siraj in the next game.

Jasprit Bumrah will continue to lead the bowling department, while India are likely to persist with Ashwin and Chahal as the two spinners.