South Africa are enjoying quite some run of form. After bouncing back from losing the opening Test to win the series 2-1, they have already secured a series victory in the ODIs and will now be hoping to complete a whitewash. But Indian pride will be smarting and they will be determined to return home with something more to show for their efforts. Who will come out on top? Read on for our full South Africa vs India third ODI preview and prediction?
South Africa vs India Third ODI Preview and Prediction
Series So Far
South Africa have shown impressive batting capabilities on both sides of the equation so far in this series. They started it by posting an impressive 296 on a low-and-slow track in Paarl, with superb centuries from Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen powering their batting. They then sparked a batting collapse in the Indian middle order, with only a late counter-attack from Shardul Thakur – after the game was all-but gone – adding a degree of respectability to the scoreline.
Perhaps seeking to do the same, India won the toss and elected to bat first in the second ODI. The tourists posted a similar score, 287, with KL Rahul contributing 55 from the top of the order and Rishabh Pant hammering 85 from just 71 balls before Thakur made another valuable contribution. But South Africa knocked off the chase with ease. Quentin de Kock and Janneman Malan got off to a great start with an opening partnership of 132 and India never recovered with the Proteas home and hosed in 48.1 overs.
For South Africa, the batting line-up looks settled. Both Malan and de Kock made important contributions in the last match and they were backed up by the middle order. Temba Bavuma was out for 35 off 36, but Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen managed the closing stages of the chase expertly, picking off India for singles and the occasional boundary, without looking much like losing a wicket. David Miller, at six, has hardly been called upon in this series as a result.
He, along with Andile Phehlukwayo, can contribute power in the lower-middle order if needed, however, with Phehlukwayo again delivering with ball in hand to return figures of 1/44 from his nine overs. Keshav Maharaj had Virat Kohli out for a five-ball duck, whilst Lungi Ngidi went wicketless but conceded just 35 runs in his eight overs. Sisanda Magala was the only weak spot in the bowling line-up, but may keep his place with Marco Jansen’s workload being carefully managed.
India have batted well-enough so far in this series without really hitting the heights. Rahul provided another reminder of his class with a well-made 55, but he will have been disappointed not to kick on having used up 79 deliveries. Shikhar Dhawan too fell after getting a start, out for 29, and may struggle to keep his place when Rohit Sharma is back fit. Kohli was bitterly disappointed with his duck, but his place in the squad is not in any doubt. Pant, meanwhile, sparkled once again.
Both Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer have been handed the opportunity to carve out a place in the team on this tour and neither has grasped it, out for 11 and 22 respectively. Thakur is becoming an increasingly vital part of the side, though he was expensive with the ball. So too was Bhuvneshwar Kumar and he does not have batting ability to fall back on. R. Ashwin has struggled to get into this series and was ineffectual again, with Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal the pick of the Indian bowlers.
With this series not part of the World Cup Super League, this game is a relatively rare dead-rubber. But South Africa will not want their momentum to slip, particularly with a Test series against New Zealand away from home on the horizon, whilst for India losing is never an easy pill to swallow. But this looks like a formidable South African outfit. They are certainly a far cry from the team that crumbled at the World Cup three years ago. Expect them to see out the clean sweep.
Prediction: South Africa win.
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