Venue: Boland Park, Paarl
Date: Wednesday, 19 January
South Africa – 14/10
India – 6/10
After defeating India 2-1 in the Test series, attention turns to the ODIs where Temba Bavuma will assume the Proteas leadership role and KL Rahul do the same for the Indiana in the absence of injured Rohit Sharma.
Without a doubt, eyes will be firmly fixed on the performance of Rahul during this white ball series which forms part of the 2023 World Cup and they will be hard pressed to make up for the disappointment of losing in the Tests series.
The last time a full strength India played an ODI series was at home against England in March and that was followed by a second string side that travelled to Sri Lanka in July but they have a a near full strength team for this series.
For South Africa, they will be in high spirits after the memorable and morale boosting victory in the Test series and focus will be on Temba Bavuma, who played a crucial role with the bat in the Test win, and Quinton de Kock who retired from Test cricket after the Test match Centurion.
Key for the Proteas will be Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Davdi Miller, Kaiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi but it is going to be interesting how the tall left-arm pacer Marco Jansen perform in white ball cricket after his impressive exploits during the Test series.
Jansen is expected to trouble the Indian batters with his extra bounce and variations in the short format where he will be supported by Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Sisanda Magala and Dwaine Pretorius.
Other South African players who have a lot to play for in this series are Zubayr Hamza, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius and Sisanda Magala who have not seen much action in recent times.
Without top order batter Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul will lead the side but focus will also be on batting mainstay Virat Kohli who retired from the captaincy last week to usher in a new era in Indian cricket.
Also key for India is how they are going to balance their team with the likes of KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order and it remains to be seen if Ruturaj Gaikwad will get any game time after a good domestic season.
Kohli is expected to bat at his usual number three spot and there will be a toss-up between Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer for the number four position.
Rishabh Pant is expected to come at number five while Venkatesh Iyer is likely to make his ODI debut as the all-rounder at six, having shown promise in the T20s against New Zealand and two spinners likely to play are Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin.
The Test series was hard fought in Centurion, Johannesburg and Cape Town with the Proteas emerging 2-1 winners and the ODI series is expected to continue on that trajectory with sensational performances.