SA versus India: What the Proteas can expect

2013-12-05 09:13

After the rank disappointment of the Pakistan ODI series, an even bigger challenge awaits the Proteas in facing top-ranked India.

Proteas ODI captain AB de Villiers was filled with fighting talk yesterday, which betrayed a rather pensive mood compared with the cool MS Dhoni, who knows what his team is capable of.

How the teams shape up 

India’s top three is the most dangerous in the world at the moment.

No target has been too steep for them, but most of those runs have been scored at home on flat wickets and small grounds.

Different conditions will present a different challenge, but in the dynamic Shikhar Dhawan, who pummelled a ridiculous 248 for India A against South Africa A in August, they have a batsman who knows how to score runs in South Africa.

Then there is the big-match man, Virat Kohli, who is at his best when India are chasing. They will need to step up their bowling.

However, none of the South African top-tier bowlers were part of the Pretoria butchering and it is an attack that knows how to exploit any possible advantage.

They have been able to mask the batting line-up’s deficiencies, but how long they will be able to carry slack will be defined by this series.

Also, India’s batting will gauge how good the bowling attack really is.

Team news

India have a clean bill of health while the Proteas are sweating over Vernon Philander’s fitness, who fell on his shoulder at training and is said to be a 50/50 starter. Either way, De Villiers hinted at a pace-heavy attack on what could be a green track.

Weather and pitch conditions

There has been rain around Joburg for the past week and a half with predictions for more rain today, which could have an impact on proceedings.

A high of 23 degrees has been predicted, which won’t be warm enough to remove most of the moisture from the pitch

Likely teams

South Africa: (likely) Hashim Amla, Graeme Smith, Quinton de Kock (wk), Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (c), JP Duminy, Ryan McLaren, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Imran Tahir

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuveshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Mohit Sharma

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