Match preview – India vs South Africa, South Africa in India 2022/23, 2nd ODI

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A narrow win in Lucknow gave South Africa ten points and increased their World Cup Super League tally to 59, but they are still eleventh and well behind the eighth-seeded West Indies, who have 88 points.

Given that they have forfeited 30 points by withdrawing from Australia’s scheduled three-game series early next year, South Africa’s chances of qualifying directly for the 2023 ODI World Cup depend on maximum points being achieved from a small number of games.

After the two remaining games of this India series, they only have two Super League assignments left – next year at home against the Netherlands and England. They will want to go into that home summer with 79 points in their pocket, meaning they will win at Ranchi and then Delhi.
The Lucknow ODI showed it will be a far from easy task, with a second-rate India side pushing South Africa all the way forward despite appearing to be two-thirds of the way out of the game. India is without most of their first choice players, but the group playing this ODI series are both wildly talented and extremely hungry, knowing how much competition there is for every slot machine in every format.

Even captain Shikhar Dhawan, who is arguably an all-time great in ODIs, cannot take his place for granted at the 2023 World Cup, so South Africa can expect another dogfight when they take to the field on Sunday.

India LWWWW (last five ODIs completed, most recent first)
South Africa WLWLW

In the spotlight

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan spent about an hour each at the crease in the first ODI, scoring 19 off 42 balls and 20 off 37 respectively, as South Africa’s quicks made miraculous seam movement with the new and new ball. Conditions in Ranchi are probably not that difficult for hitters of the highest order, and Gaikwad and Kishan hope they can make a better impression against high-quality fast bowling.

Since its debut in 2017, Aiden Markram has the second worst average of 23.26 against spin of all top four batters from full member teams who have had at least 200 balls from spinners in ODIs (Brandon King of the West Indies, who averages an astonishingly poor 11, 09 has against spin, headlines that list). Markram was brutally beaten at Kuldeep Yadav’s hands in Lucknow, and he’ll have to prepare to face a lot more of the left arm wrist spinner in the rest of the series.

Team news

Washington Sundar has joined the Indian squad as a replacement for Deepak Chahar, who is out with a jersey number. With Chahar absent, India is unlikely to make any changes to their pace attack from the first ODI. But they could be looking at a swap in the spin division, with all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed potentially replacing Ravi Bishnoi, who endured a difficult ODI debut in Lucknow.

India (possibly): 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 4 Ishan Kishan, 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Sanju Samson (wk), 7 Shardul Thakur, 8 Ravi Bishnoi/Shahbaz Ahmed, 9 Avesh Khan, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Mohammed Siraj

Dwaine Pretorius is out of this series and the upcoming T20 World Cup with a broken thumb, and although South Africa have named Marco Jansen as his replacement for this series, they are yet to pick one for the World Cup. Jansen and Andile Phehluwayo are the two main contenders, and it is possible that South Africa could bring either or both to their side to give them playing time. With India mercilessly targeting Tabraiz Shamsi through both the T20I and ODI leg of this series, South Africa might just be able to pick one spinner.

South Africa (possibly): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Janneman Malan, 3 Temba Bavuma (capt), 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Heinrich Klaasen, 6 David Miller, 7 Wayne Parnell/Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Tabraiz Shamsi/Marco Jansen/Anrich Nortje, 11 Lungi Ngidi

Location and conditions

Rain reduced the Lucknow ODI to a 40 overs-a-side game, and Sunday’s forecast suggests there is also a 20% chance of rain in Ranchi.

The field at the JSCA Stadium usually has runs, with three of the five ODIs at the venue producing 280-plus scores in the first innings. Neither bowling style has had a clear advantage over the other in those five matches, with fast bowlers averaging 33.69 and 5.36 runs over, and spinners matching numbers of 36.80 and 5, 35 returns.

Quotes

“I wouldn’t say it’s a second-rate Indian side. India is blessed with so much talent that they can probably field four to five real international teams. A lot of the guys in the Indian team have IPL and international experience. Shikhar Dhawan has countless ODIs played; Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson – the talent that is in the Indian team, I wouldn’t consider it weakened. They are still world class artists out there.”
Keshav Maharaj does not see a second-rate India as weaker

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