South Africa v India Second ODI Tips: Hosts deserve more respect


South Africa v India
Friday 21 January 08.30
TV: Live on Sky Sports

Hosts flying

South Africa are flying. They followed up their 2-1 Test series win with another strong display in the first ODI.

Batting first, both Tenmba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen made centuries. The latter’s destructive knock won him the match gong. And in the end they defended 296 with relative ease.

Another win here gives them the opportunity to rest Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen, pace bowlers who are putting overs in their legs. Kagiso Rabada was a late withdrawal from the squad to keep him fit.

South Africa picked two spinners for game one and given their importance in keeping India tied down, they are unlikely to change. Sisanda Magala’s death bowling might be useful, though.

Probable XI: De Kock, Malan, Bavuma, van der Dussen, Markram, Miller, Phehlukwayo, Jansen, Maharaj, Shamsi, Ngidi

India a muddle

From 138 for one in the 26th over with both Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli set, India would have expected to win. The reason why they didn’t was surprising: spin.

Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi combined to remove the pair and India panicked. They were not helped by the balance of their XI.

With Rishabh Pant at No 4 they look a batter light. Ruturaj Gaikwad could open with Dhawan, allowing KL Rahul to drop back into the middle order. Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer look a soft underbelly.

But when you lose quality all-rounders like Ravi Jadeja and Hardik Pandya you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

India will also have concerns about pacer workload. Jasprit Bumrah is good for one more gamebefore a rest but Prasidh Krishna is also available.

Possible XI: Dhawan, Gaikwad, Kohli, Rahul, Pant, Iyer, Thakur, Ashwin, Kumar, Chahal, Bumrah

Pitch report

The Boland Park surface looks flat, as expected. A score of 290 or more will most likely be targeted.

We are enamoured with the 9/5 that Sportsbook offer for both teams to score 275 or more. The 8/11 that both make 250 may also be generous.

The first-innings runs par line was set at 280.5 for game one. Something similar represents a buy. Had more than 300 been busted – or India had chased with ease – we might have expected that to go up but it should be in the same range.

South Africa underrated

South Africa are into 2.305/4 from 2.506/4. It still looks like value to us given their supremacy on the tour.
India are 1.738/11 and that’s mighty short about a team who either pick an extra batter or bowler and have doubts about the longevity of at least two of their line-up at this level.

The toss may be crucial. Scoreboard pressure looked like it was the key factor in game one. There looks to be an advantage to batting first, posting 290 and then setting the pair of spinners to work. Excuse us, trio of spinners for South Africa with Aiden Markram useful. Could that be the game?

Tops value

We had bets on Jannie Malan and Pant last time for top-bat honours. Malan remains at 4/1 so his win rate of five in 12 means we should keep faith. Pant has been cut to 13/2 which still gives us an edge on win rate. It’s also a bonus that he has been promoted to No 4.

Van der Dussen topped for only the second time in 13 matches so Sportsbook’s 7/2 is not for us. Quinton de Kock is boosted to 3/1 favourite.

Virat Kohli has been boosted the same but beware. It’s only four wins in 22 in the last two-and-a-half years.

With the ball Ngidi has rather surprisingly maintained his 3/1 price despite Rabada’s absence. He is the most potent bowler they have got.

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