Image Credits: Carl Fourie / Gallo Images
Date: Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Time: 13:00 (SAST).
Venue: St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth.
The Proteas head on down to Port Elizabeth to take on India in the penultimate game of the six-match ODI series on Wednesday.
The tourists currently lead 3-1 but the home side will be boosted by the epic comeback they staged in the “Pink ODI” at the Wanderers on Saturday to claim their first win of the series.
David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen and later Andile Phehlukwayo lead the fight back as they took the battle to the Indian wrist-spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav who have caused nothing but trouble for the South African batsmen since the series began.
The manner in which the trio attacked the spin twins should give the rest of the batting line-up a slight idea on how to approach the threat they posed going forward as, in Miller’s case, he looked uncomfortable playing defensively and was bowled early in his innings – only to be called back as Chahal had overstepped. It was only when the left-hander decided to play his shots when he nullified their threat, eventually losing his wicket while playing tentatively again.
Granted the Wanderers surface was not a rank turner as was experienced in the first three matches prior to that one, but South Africa will do well to consider a similar approach as they did there against the Indian spinners going forward.
The Proteas were given a boost by the return of AB de Villiers who, with Hashim Amla, laid the foundation for that successful chase. They could keep the same XI, but could be tempted to bring in a specialist spinner in Imran Tahir, who missed out at The Wanderers.
Young Shreyas Iyer was brought into the side for the injured Kedar Jadhav who could be making a return to the playing XI should he be fit. In his absence, India were a bowler short and the variation he brings to the attack could have been more than useful when Miller and Klaasen decided to run amok.
Some morning rainfall is forecast for PE on Tuesday but it will likely have subsided by the time the match starts in the afternoon. Warm temperatures are expected, with a maximum of 27 degrees Celcius.
The St George’s Park pitch has slowed down in recent years and gained somewhat of a reputation for its “tennis ball bounce”. With a bit of moisture around, it could be a bit tricky at first for the side batting first and could be one of those surfaces where the batsman is never really in.