India look to avoid whitewash against South Africa

India look to avoid whitewash against South Africa
Representational Pic

Cape Town, Jan 22: Having already lost the ongoing ODI series against South Africa, India will look to adjust to the tempo of 50-over cricket and win the third and final match here on Sunday to avoid a whitewash.

KL Rahul-led side lost the first ODI by 31 runs while they suffered a seven-wicket defeat in the second match of the three-match series on Friday.

Having learned the lessons from the hosts’ batting, India will have to alter their plans to find solutions to their middle-over woes. The batting lost its way in the middle overs in both matches despite promising starts and there could be potential changes to the Indian playing XI.

The likes of ShikharDhawan, KL Rahul, ViratKohli and Rishabh Pant have shown their glimpses of brilliance, but they need to fire collectively and score big if Team India wants to win. VenkateshIyer and ShreyasIyer have failed to impress with the bat so the team management will try SuryakumarYadav in the final ODI.

The bowling, on the other hand, also hasn’t really troubled South Africa much. India’s bowlers have struggled to make inroads in the Powerplay in the last couple of years, and it is something the team will want to rectify in Cape Town, on what is expected to be a spicier pitch compared to the sluggish surface in Paarl.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has looked ordinary in the first two ODIs is likely to be replaced by Mohammed Siraj or Deepak Chahar. JaspritBumrah, who has played a lot of cricket consistently in the last few months, could be rested to manage his workload.

Spinners RavichandranAshwin and YuzvendraChahal have bowled well but they have failed to pick wickets at crucial junctures.

On the other hand, South Africans don’t have as many concerns to address. Each of the top five batters have made significant contributions in at least one of the two matches while the spinners have done their job with the ball, bringing South Africa back into the contest in both matches.

So far, they have been polished in their template in the first two ODIs, winning the first one by setting a score and then completing the highest-ever successful ODI run chase in Paarl in the second.

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