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Predicting India’s Strongest XI For The ODI Series Against South Africa

BCCI has announced the squad for the ODI series against South Africa. Rohit Sharma is unavailable, and hence, KL Rahul will lead the side. The first game will start on January 19th at Paarl. In this article, we predict India’s strongest XI for the ODI series against South Africa.

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TEAM: KL Rahul (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Y Chahal, R Ashwin, W Sundar, J Bumrah (VC), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj.

Openers: KL Rahul (C) and Shikhar Dhawan

KL Rahul is an obvious selection, but the management will have a few decisions to make regarding his partner. Shikhar Dhawan is likely to be picked due to his experience. Also, the selectors would not have picked him had they had Ruturaj Gaikwad in their minds. Ishan Kishan also has an outside chance to partner with KL Rahul.

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Middle-Order: Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant (WK)

We think there will be a settled middle-order for India’s strongest XI for the ODI series against South Africa. Virat Kohli, devoid of captaincy duties, will play at No.3. Suryakumar Yadav is likely to get the No.4 spot ahead of Shreyas Iyer. However, that could change since Iyer is with the Test Team and has already acclimatized to the conditions. Rishabh Pant will be the first choice as the wicket-keeper.

All-Rounders: Venkatesh Iyer

Venkatesh Iyer will operate as the only genuine all-rounder in the XI. He is still new to the highest level and therefore, the management might not trust him to bowl all the 10 overs. With the bat, the KKR player will be tasked to finish games with the bat.

Bowlers: R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah

Washington Sundar is the sole genuine spin bowling all-rounder in the team. However, Washi is yet to prove his skills with the bat in the shorter formats for India. Hence, Team India might go with three bowling all-rounders to compensate for the lack of a reliable No.7. Hence, Ashwin, Shardul and Deepak will feature in India’s strongest XI for the ODI series against South Africa. Jasprit Bumrah has been appointed as the vice-captain and will play all three games. Although Bhuvi might be backed for the first encounter, based on his performance, the likes of Siraj or Prasidh could get a chance.

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Nesara V Jagannatha

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