After a meaningless series against New Zealand, South Africa will be looking to continue their T20 form into the ODI’s when they face India on Sunday.
1. That winning feeling
Maintaining the winning momentum on a long tour such as this one will be key for South Africa. They have started the tour exceptionally well by winning the T20 series 2-0, with India not a getting an opportunity to redeem themselves before the 50-over series after the third T2o was abandoned due to a wet outfield. They must now keep that momentum by giving a strong performance in the first ODI.
2. Dale at a crossroads
This is a big series for Dale Steyn. His return to the side together with Morne Morkel will be a massive boost for the team and the players around them. Steyn will have to show in this series that he still has a burning desire to play 50-over cricket. Steyn has become very selective when it comes to deciding in which series he plays, but with Kyle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada continuing to put in strong performances there isn’t place for any passengers. If this series doesn’t go well, Steyn must seriously consider his ODI future.
3. Quinton is back
Quinton de Kock is expected to make his return to the side after he was axed for the series against New Zealand. He did well on the South African A side’s tour to India earlier this year and he will be eager to make up for his bad form dating back to the World Cup.
4. The influence of Tahir
Imran Tahir has been South Africa’s most successful ODI bowlers this year with 30 wickets at 22.46. While his influence has been immense, it will be interesting to see if he has the same impact in India against batsmen who are used to facing spin on turning wickets. It will be a challenge for Tahir, but he should have the experience and determination to overcome the challenge. A poor series with the ball could dent his confidence ahead of his return to the Test side for the four-match series at the end of the tour.
5. Unlucky No 5
With JP Duminy at six and Farhaan Behardien at seven, a bowler is going to miss out on the starting XI. Steyn, Morkel and Tahir slot straight into the side, which means there is place for one more between Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris. If the selectors are happy with the batting depth, Rabada could get the nod ahead of Abbott and Morris.