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HomeCricket5th ODI Preview: Series still alive!

5th ODI Preview: Series still alive!



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey


Not only were South Africa able to avoid being steamrolled in the 4th ODI, but they won the game, keeping the series alive. Even more significantly, the hosts chased down 202 at over eight an over, taking it to the India wristspinners, which can be a huge turning point in the series. Despite taking three wickets between them, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal went for exactly eight an over in 11 overs – can South Africa’s nothing to lose attitude help keep this series alive?

India, despite a strong series so far, aren’t without concerns of their own. Rohit Sharma’s poor form in South Africa continues, and has raised more questions about his ability away from home. India’s middle order was a let down in Johannesburg, failing to even reach 300 when 330 looked a possibility with Dhawan and Kohli at the crease. The middle order’s struggle was highlighted in the fact that from number four down, no player struck at over 100, and all these players batted in the last 20 overs.

Food for thought.

Key to a South Africa win

For South Africa, getting into India’s middle order as early as possible will be huge. The wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli will be especially important, and with the India middle order a little untested in this series, early wickets with the series on the line can create huge momentum for the 
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hosts. The wicket of the great Virat Kohli especially early can cause issues for India…
All of South Africa’s bowlers went for at least five an over in the Pink ODI, but only Andile Phehlukwayo went for over 6 (6.33). A team effort with the ball, and continuing the attack against India’s wristspinners is key to keeping this series alive heading into the final game.
Also, runs for David Miller is huge relief for he and South Africa, and the efforts of Heinrich Klaasen and Andile Phehlukwayo with the bat was excellent. If the top order can set things up, South Africa can put India under real pressure.

Key to an India win

Top order runs, middle over finishing.
Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli set things up beautifully for India in Johannesburg, getting to 178/1 in 31 overs. However, the last 19 overs yielded just 111 runs, and while the rain break didn’t help India’s momentum, they need better finishing if they are to put South Africa away.
With the loss of momentum in the final stages, South Africa went into their batting innings with confidence, and with AB de Villiers back in their side and South Africa finding some form, India will need to ensure they get every run they can.

Predicted teams:

In Port Elizabeth, expect South Africa to have a spinner. Imran Tahir had an issue with spectators in Johannesburg, which is currently being investigated on terms of racial abuse. It will be interesting to see if he is considered in the right mindset to play.
South Africa XI: 1. Hashim Amla, 2. Aiden Markram (c), 3. JP Duminy, 4. AB de Villiers, 5. David Miller, 6. Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 7. Chris Morris, 8. Andile Phehlukwayo, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Morne Morkel, 11. Imran Tahir

For India, they would want Rohit Sharma and the middle order to show better form. Also, Shreyas Iyer should play with Keshar Yadav still nursing a hamstring niggle.
India XI: 1. Rohit Sharma, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Virat Kohli (c), 4. Ajinkya Rahane, 5. Shreyas Iyer, 6. MS Dhoni (wk), 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Kuldeep Yadav, 10. Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Stats & Facts:

  • Rohit Sharma this series: 40 runs, average of 10. Rohit has struggled, however, I pick him to do well in this game due to the lower and slower nature of the Port Elizabeth pitch. This pitch might best suit his game at the moment.
  • MS Dhoni is just 46 runs away from reaching 10,000 ODI runs.
  • 17 out of 32 ODIs played at St George’s Park have been won by the team bowling first.
  • Virat Kohli needs just 62 runs to go past Kevin Pietersen’s tally of 454 runs – the most by a visiting batsman in an ODI series in South Africa.


With rain predicted in the afternoon, this game could take similar shape to the 4th ODI, which makes the prediction really difficult.
If India’s spinners have to deal with a damp ball, this gives South Africa a big advantage in a potential rain-affected game, which South Africa enjoyed at the Wanderers. Despite this, I still feel India are the more rounded side, and will take out the series in a close game, which should be very interesting indeed…
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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