South Africa without Rabada for ODIs
South Africa were forced to rest Kagiso Rabada for the three ODIs against India with concerns around his workload. The hosts, who will now field a depleted attack, will have their task cut out against India, with odds of 2.23 to beat India in the first ODI. They will bank on the batting firepower and recent experience of playing more ODIs than India to start the ODI series with a win.
India, on the other hand, are still fresh off several changes in this format including the removal of Virat Kohli as skipper in this format. Rohit Sharma, who was named permanent skipper, is missing this series and KL Rahul will lead the side and also make a switch to open the batting again in Rohit’s absence. India have odds of 1.49 to win the first ODI, but they have played only six ODIs since the start of 2021.
India have won seven of the last eight ODIs against South Africa
In 27 ODIs since 2010 between these sides, India have won 15 and South Africa have won 11, but the record is split into two distinct halves with India dominating in the second half of the head-to-head records. They have won seven of the last eight ODIs between these sides including a 5-1 series win against South Africa in South Africa in 2018.
RECOMMENDED BET: India to seal a win at1.49 in the first ODI on the back of a stronger batting unit.
India might also be looking to rest key players through the ODIs and we could see some shuffling, but the visitors are clearly the stronger ODI team with several players in the batting line-up coming off exciting seasons with IPL franchises or domestic tournaments.
Keep an eye on…
Quinton de Kock: Freshly retired from Test cricket, Quinton de Kock will hope to continue his stellar ODI career against one of his favourite opponents. Less than a decade ago, in a similar bilateral ODI series against India, de Kock became a world-famous batter with three back-to-back hundreds for the Proteas.
R Ashwin: Ashwin marks a return to the ODI format for the first time since 2017. In the five years since, India have preferred more wrist spinners, but now with Ashwin back, we could see him and Chahal bowling in tandem at South African batters susceptible to spin.
TIP: Despite the questions around lack of hundreds, Virat Kohli is India’s leading ODI run-scorer since the 2019’s ODI World Cup. Kohli can be backed to be India’s top batter at 4.31