South African batsman Quinton de Kock plays a shot during the second One Day International cricket match between South Africa and India at Centurion cricket ground on February 4, 2018 in Centurion. / AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

South Africa and India are set to do battle in a three-game ODI series after an enthralling Test series in which the Proteas won 2-1.

The first of three ODIs is due to begin tonight in Paarl, before another match in Paarl on Friday and a match in Cape Town on Sunday.

India has dominated recent series between the two sides, winning eight of the last ten encounters, including a 5-1 series drubbing last time they met in February 2018. Although, across the board, both sides have only won two of their past five ODI matches.

Boland Park, in Paarl, is home to a flat wicket and small boundaries, meaning that posting first innings totals in excess of 300 will be the likely path to victory. The Western Cape in South Africa is currently experiencing a heatwave with temperatures nudging 45 degrees celsius this week, which will severely flatten and dry out the pitch ahead of time.

Team News

South Africa

South Africa will be without Kagiso Rabada, who will miss this white-ball series as Cricket South Africa (CSA) look to manage his workload.

CSA released a statement on Tuesday indicating that Rabada was being released from the squad "due to high workloads over a sustained period of time and the need for him to recover prior the outbound Test series against New Zealand next month."

Anrich Nortje will also miss out with a hip injury.

The duo's absence should pave the way for Marco Jansen to make his ODI debut after a stellar red-ball series in which he took 19 wickets (second-highest). Lungi Ngidi will also pose as a major threat this series after taking 15 wickets in the Test series.

South African captain Temba Bavuma says his sides batting order may require flexibility in order to make way for specialist one-day talent.

“As a captain you want as many resources as you can. You have to accept that probably one bowler on the day won’t hits his straps," he said.

“I would like to have as many options as I can, taking into account the balance of the team.”

South Africa have the services of all-rounders Andile Phehlukwayo or Wiaan Mulder at their disposal to bat in the lower-middle order should they opt for two all-rounders - they did in their most recent ODI series against Sri Lanka in 2021. Meanwhile, Quinton de Kock will return to bolster the squad after his retirement from Test cricket to focus on shorter formats of the game.

The lower-middle order squeeze may see a showdown between Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram for a spot in the middle order. In 34 ODIs, Markram averages 28.10, but made his career-high score of 96 in South Africa's last ODI series. van der Dussen scored 59 in the same game as Markram's 96, but houses an average of 65.56.

Bavuma said his team was reserved, but confident they couldnt continue their solid red-ball form into the three white-ball fixtures.

“I think momentum is a real thing. I think you would have seen in the first Test after going down and then managing to come back at the Wanderers where we found some momentum how we carried that through to the whole series," he said.


India's team lineup will be as close to their first choice set up as can be, but they will have their new permanent coach Rahul Dravid at the helm for an ODI for the very first time.

India captain KL Rahul said he would open the batting given the absence of would-be captain Rohit Sharma due to a hamstring injury.

"Now I think with Rohit not being here, I would bat at the top of the order," he said.

The ODI series will take place just days after Virat Kohli retired from his post as the Test match captain, which was just weeks after doing the same in the white-ball formats. He last scored an ODI hundred in August 2019, but has made eight fifties in 15 innings since. Losing the burdency of captaining the side may see him reach three figures once again and ultimately bury the saga.

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli (R) reacts next to the captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) after winning the match during the Asia Cup T20 cricket tournament final match between Bangladesh and India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on March 6, 2016. / AFP / MUNIR UZ ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Rahul gave a clear indication Venkatesh Iyer will play as the team's all-rounder.

"The sixth bowling option in white-ball cricket nowadays is really important and we are trying to develop that. Venkatesh Iyer has come into the side and we will give him that chance," he said.

India's squad now has six fast bowlers, after Navdeep Saini was added to the camp last week alongside Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

There was conjecture of Siraj's place in the squad due to missing out due to injury in the third test, but vice-captain Bumrah has indicated he will be fit in time.

"I think he's fine. He's practising with us. So I don't see any discomfort. Hopefully everything stays that way. Nothing that I am aware of right now but everyone seems to be okay. And hopefully it stays that way," Bumrah said.

As for the spinners, Rahul hinted that they may play two spinners, but wouldn't be drawn on who that would be in addition to Ravichandran Ashwin.

"We practised a couple of days at Boland Park and the pitch does look like it might offer a lot more for spinners than what we got in the Test series," Rahul said.

"We have quality spinners."

Series Schedule

1st ODI: January 19, Boland Park, Paarl

2nd ODI: January 21, Boland Park, Paarl

3rd ODI: January 23, Newlands, Cape Town


South Africa: Temba Bavuma (captain), Keshav Maharaj (vice-captain),
Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Zubayr Hamza, Marco Jansen, Janneman Malan, Sisanda Magala, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.

India: KL Rahul (captain), Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj, Jayant Yadav, Navdeep Saini.