Team India suffered a heavy defeat with the identical margin by which they won the first ODI as South Africa came storming back into the three-match series in the second game in Gqeberha on Tuesday, December 19. Team India handed a debut to Rinku Singh but apart from Sai Sudharsan and skipper KL Rahul, no other batter offered any resistance and the Men in Blue found themselves shot out for 211. The pitch didn’t have any demons as such, as much as it was poor application from the batters.
211 was always going to be difficult but Tony de Zorzi and Reeza Hendricks killed the game with a 130-run stand opening stand. India now have an opportunity to seal the series in the decider but they will be tempted to make a change or two. Ruturaj Gaikwad hasn’t been in form in both games but since India don’t have any other back-up option at the top of the order, he will continue with Sai Sudharsan who has slammed two half-centuries in as many games.
Tilak Varma struggled against the quick bowlers in Gqeberha and took 30 balls to score just 10 runs. Since it was just one innings, the Men in Blue might decided against making a change there as well. KL Rahul and Rinku Singh will keep their places and will Sanju Samson, who too got out cheaply.
However, the Indian team might mull a change in the bowling attack and look to give either Washinton Sundar or Yuzvendra Chahal a chance. Chahal, who earned a call-up for the first time since the West Indies series has warmed the bench in the first two games. Kuldeep might be rested and Sundar could get an opportunity as he didn’t get a single opportunity in the whole series. The pace department looks settled and is likely to be the same for the decider in Paarl.
India’s likely playing XI for 3rd ODI against South Africa: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, KL Rahul (capt), Sanju Samson, Rinku Singh, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav/Washington Sundar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar
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