With the series square at 1-1, will we see a complete performance from either India or South Africa in the third One-Day International on Sunday?
Neither team were clinical in the first two games. They relied on the opposition to make mistakes, which they did make, but now it’s time for the Proteas to play total cricket and win a game because they are that much better than India on the day.
Middle order will be key
Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers and David Miller are the quick scorers in that team, and it will be up to Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy to bat around them. Farhaan Behardien can close out an innings, but he will need support, so someone else must try and bat through the innings with him. This will protect South Africa’s long tail, who were let down by the top order in the second ODI.
Miller criticism not unfair
David Miller hasn’t made a meaningful score since the World Cup, and it is not unreasonable to expect better from him. He did get a good delivery in the second game to walk for a golden duck, but he has to do better in the rest of the series. His saving grace is the fact that Rilee Rossouw is injured and not in India, but if Miller continues to struggle, his place will be in jeopardy when England tour South Africa at the end of the year.
Rabada continues to excel
The 20-year-old has been South Africa’s best bowler in the series so far and has taken the focus away from his more experienced colleagues Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. While Steyn improved his wicket-count in the second game, Morkel is yet to hit his straps on tour. He has troubled the Indian batsmen, but he is a wicket-taker first and foremost. Rabada should not be South Africa’s biggest threat with the ball.
Put a spin on it
This tour presents a great opportunity for JP Duminy to improve as a spinner and become a proper all-rounder. While it is his batting powers that the Proteas need most, Duminy’s ability with the ball has added value to the team and it gives the captain some options when trying to rush through a few overs. However, Duminy has been pretty expensive thus far without taking too many wickets while Behardien has been used even less as a part-timer. The Proteas are a much more dynamic team of these two do well with the ball. Hopefully they have the confidence to take on the Indian batsmen going forward.