Your essential guide to the fifth ODI between the Proteas and India at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
This ODI is crucial for South Africa. If they win it, they will secure the No 1 ranking, regardless of the outcome at Centurion in the sixth match.
What is crucial is that the Proteas show improvement from the last game, which they won by five wickets at the Wanderers. The way to do so is for more solid performances from their top order.
This India series was the perfect time for the Proteas to find out that they had a problem with spin. Not only were they able to identify the issue and find a solution, but now they will be able to implement a game plan for facing spin at the 2019 World Cup.
India, who have a settled side, will just look to bounce back and win. They must win the last two matches to hold on to the No 1 ODI ranking.
Rain has been a constant threat throughout the series, and once again chances are high that it will interrupt play at St George’s Park. The groundsmen put on the covers leading up to a game to protect the strip, and are likely to be busy again on Tuesday, with a 60% chance of rain.
Players to Watch:
Hashim Amla needs a good knock. The Proteas opener has struggled against India in recent times. In fact, the last time he scored more than 50 against them in ODIs was in December 2015, 11 innings ago.
Rohit Sharma hasn’t hit his stride. His ODI average in his last 12 matches in South Africa is 11.45. He has scored just 40 runs in this series and the fifth ODI will be the perfect time for him to come to the party. He will take a lot of pressure off his middle order if he can find form.
South Africa: 1. Hashim Amla, 2. Aiden Markram (capt), 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.
India: 1. Rohit Sharma, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Virat Kohli (capt.), 4. Ajinkya Rahane, 5. MS Dhoni (wk), 6. Kedar Jadhav, 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Kuldeep Yadav, 10. Jasprit Bumrah, 11. Yuzvendra Chahal.
– South Africa have lost 11 out of 32 matches played at St George’s Park. Six of those defeats have come in the last 10 years.
– India have lost all five of their ODIs in Port Elizabeth since 1992. Four of those came against South Africa and one to Kenya during the triangular series in 2001-02.
– India have never scored 200 runs in Port Elizabeth. Their 179-9 against South Africa in February 1997 is their highest total on the ground.
What they said:
Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo:
India fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar:
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