A confident South African team, after defeating host India by nine runs in the first ODI in Lucknow, will look for an impressive performance in the second match on Sunday, October 9 at Ranchi.
Whereas the Indian cricket team, led by Shikhar Dhawan, will aim to make a comeback and be in the reckoning for next year's 50-over World Cup after losing the opener on Thursday.
The rain-hit match was reduced to 40 overs. India, after winning the toss, invited the guest to bat first. The bowling attack of the men in blue successfully sent the South Africans back to the pavilion quickly. But, with Henrich Klassen conjuring a 65-ball 74 and David Miller scoring 75 not out off 63 balls, the team reached a defensive total of 249.
In the absence of big guns like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin, who are off to Australia for the T20 World Cup, the Indian selectors opted for a fresh squad that includes Mukesh Kumar and Rajat Patidar, who earned their maiden call-ups.
The squad also features a few T20 World Cup reserve players.
Sanju Samson's heroic 86 went in Vain
India, while chasing, lost the opener, Shikhar Dhawan, and Shubham Gill departed early. Shreyas Iyer, the vice-captain of the team, anchored the batting with his 50. It was Sanju Samson, who scored 86 and even had a powerful last over with 20 runs, who could not change the match result in favour of India.
The Indian bowling attack of Mohammed Siraj (0/49), Avesh Khan (0/51) and Ravi Bishnoi (0/69) failed to contain the South African batters, averaging more than 6 runs per over.
It was Shardul Thakur (2/35) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/39) who bowled at an average of 4.30 runs per over to put the proteast under stress when batting.
Deepak Chahar will be replaced by Washington Sundar
The pacer, Deepak Chahar, is ruled out of the remaining series due to his ankle injury. Right-arm off-spinner Washington Sundar will replace the injured Deepak Chahar in India's squad for the remaining two ODIs against South Africa.
The series provides a big opportunity for the second-string players to make their presence felt and impress the selectors with noticeable performances to be in the fray for a place in next year's ODI World Cup.
But it will be a tough test for India as the South Africans will be playing for points which they need to qualify for the World Cup next year.
In the next The Proteas will be banking on the experienced Quinton de Kock, skipper Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Reeza Hendricks and Janneman Malan to do the job in the batting department.
They boast a potent bowling unit, which includes the likes of Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorious, and spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, among others.
The second ODI will be held in Ranchi on October 9 and Delhi will play host to the last match on October 11.
India: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubhman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Rajat Patidar, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Mohd. Siraj, Washington Sundar
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Reeza Hendricks Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, A ndile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
When: October 8 (Sunday)
At: Ranchi Cricket Stadium.
Where to Watch: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Kannada
Live Streaming: Hotstar
Timing: 1:30 pm IST onwards
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)