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.
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.
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
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.
“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