After an engaging Test series, India and South Africa are ready to clash in an exciting six-match ODI series, starting with the opening game to be played in Durban on Thursday. However, the weather forecast suggests that the rain may play spoilsport in the first ODI.
On Wednesday, the pitch bore a brownish look ahead of the opening ODI, in keeping with the rainfall Durban has received of late. Showers are forecast for Thursday’s game as well. It might have a bearing on how many spinners India go in with.
If India play a lone spinner, chinaman Kuldeep Yadav could get the nod ahead of both Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, to counter the threat of big-hitting left-handers David Miller and JP Duminy in the middle-order.
Only one spinner would also mean that Kedar Jadhav is assured of a starting spot, thanks to his part-time bowling.
The Proteas are expected to go in with only spinner in Imran Tahir.
India: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Khayelihle Zondo.
(With PTI inputs)