South Africa vs India 1st ODI: Preview and Prediction

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The T20I series between these two teams ended 1-1

India and South Africa will now play a three-match ODI series after the completion of the T20I series. The first ODI will be played in Johannesburg’s New Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

Both teams will be fairly confident coming into this match. Speaking of South Africa, they did well in one of the two T20Is played, but then lost the last match. That said, the Proteas have done well in ODI cricket recently, having lost only three of their last 13 matches and making it all the way into the semi-final at the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

As for India, they did well to bounce back in the last T20I after going down initially. They have been arguably the most dominant team in the ODI version of the game recently, having won ten of their last 11 matches. Unfortunately, that one defeat came in the final of the World Cup against Australia.

What has happened so far?

As for the T20I series, the first match was washed out due to rain, before the two teams got one win under their belt each. In the second T20I in Gqeberha, the home team handed India a five-wicket defeat according to the DLS method, thanks to a fiery knock of 49 runs from their opening batter Reeza Hendricks.

The third T20I in Johannesburg was all about India’s dominance. Batting first, they scored 201 runs as skipper Suryakumar Yadav scored a century, while Yashasvi Jaiswal scored 60 runs. In response, South Africa were bowled out for 95, with Kuldeep Yadav picking up five wickets.

In terms of their ODI performances, India will be coming into this match after the defeat against Australia in the World Cup final. But they won their previous ten matches before that game, and in this calendar year, where they have played 32 ODI matches, they have lost only seven games.

On the other hand, South Africa also had a good time at the World Cup where they won seven of the ten games they played, with one of their three defeats coming against India. The Proteas have played 20 ODI matches this year, where they have lost only seven games.

Head to Head Record

Interestingly, South Africa holds the upper hand when it comes to head-to-head records. These two teams have crossed paths on 91 occasions in the fifty-over format of the game, where the Proteas have won 50 matches while the men in blue ended up on the victorious side a total of 38 times. The other three matches did not produce a winner.

Having said that, India has won all of the last three ODI meetings against South Africa. The last meeting was in Kolkata at the World Cup, where they got a 243-run win. Batting first, India scored 326 runs as Virat Kohli scored a century, while South Africa was bowled for just 83 runs. Ravindra Jadeja was India’s best bowler, picking up five wickets.

Key Players

KL Rahul will be returning to lead India in Rohit Sharma’s absence

KL Rahul (India): While all eyes will be on players like Rinku Singh and Tilak Varma, who are among the hottest prospects in Indian cricket, this match will crucially mark the return of KL Rahul, this time leading the team in Rohit Sharma’s absence. Rahul had a fantastic World Cup, where he scored 452 runs in 11 matches at an average of over 75 and a strike rate of over 90.

Though his knock did not help India win the title, Rahul was also the team’s leading run-scorer in the final. As for his career ODI numbers, the lad from Bangalore has scored 2743 runs in 72 matches, which have come at an average of over 50 and a strike rate of nearly 90. He has 7 centuries and 17 half-centuries to his name in this format.

Aiden Markram (South Africa): Besides the overall battle, we will also see a battle between two captains who played as deputies at the World Cup. While Rahul will be leading India, the onus of being responsible for South Africa’s progress will be on Aiden Markram, who has already proved his captaincy mettle by winning the SA20 tournament.

\Markram’s numbers in ODI cricket are equally good, where he has scored 2071 runs in 65 games at an average of 35+ and a strike rate of almost 100. He has also picked up 17 wickets in this format.

Predicted XIs

South Africa: Reeza Hendricks, Tony de Zorzi, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram ©, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Ottneil Baartman, Lizaad Williams, Nandre Burger.

India: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Tilak Varma, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul © (wk), Rinku Singh, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal


Though South Africa has always been a tough nut to crack in their own backyard, the current Indian team is nearly unstoppable in the ODI format. With experienced players like Rahul and Shreyas Iyer making their comebacks, it will be even more difficult to beat the Men in Blue. Hence, the visitors will start this match as favorites.