India Prepare For South Africa ODI Series
India will be unhappy at the way they lost the 2 match test series against New Zealand. Losing the second test in 3 days against the Kiwis in a small way might be a blessing in disguise; the extra two days gives them time to recover and prepare for the gruelling season ahead.
Three Match ODI Series Against South Africa
The BCCI has schedule back to back series for Team India and their next challenge will be against South Africa. India will take on the Proteas in a 3 match ODI series that starts on March 12. Once the three match ODI series is finished, they will get a few days off before they head off to their respective franchises and start preparing for the 2020 IPL.
Rushing into another series so quickly gives the BCCI, team management and players very little time to analyse what went wrong. India are coming off an ODI series whitewash and a test series whitewash.
Head coach Ravi Shastri will be hoping India gets back into their groove and puts up an impressive performance against South Africa. This is the best way for Indian fans to forget the drubbing in New Zealand and for the team to move on quickly. However, should India lose the first ODI against the Proteas, it would mean losing 4 ODI matches in a row and would put both Shastri and Kohli under a lot of pressure.
No Time For Introspection For Team India
With so much cricket being played by Team India, they have very little time to regroup and address their flaws. This is a major drawback for the players; the lack of time prevents them from improving and addressing both technical and mental flaws.
India have always done well at home and hence the bookmakers will still have them as favourites. However, it is their overseas form in conditions that swing and seam that must be questioned. It will be up to BCCI President Sourav Ganguly to lead from the front and not sweet the disastrous New Zealand tour under the carpet.
Senior Players Return For India ODIs
One of the reasons India performed poorly in the ODI and Test series in New Zealand was because they were missing some of their experienced players. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan had to be withdrawn from the ODI series; KL Rahul was not selected for the test series. Rahul will definitely return for the ODI series against the Proteas. Sharma and Dhawan, meanwhile, will have to pass fitness tests.
Hardik Pandya has also taken the field in a domestic game and performed well with both bat and ball. Should he pass a fitness test, expect him to walk right back into the ODI squad. Kohli will be happy to have Pandya back as he brings in a lot of balance and aggression.
Form Of Kohli And Bumrah Critical
The big question will be over the form of Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper had an extremely poor tour of New Zealand and will be desperate to turn things around. If Kohli does not fire, India will continue to find it difficult to win. They will have to rely heavily on the likes of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.
After Kohli’s form, the second biggest concern is the form of India’s number one bowler Jasprit Bumrah. Moreover, he hasn’t looked as threatening after returning from injury and will need to lead the attack in the upcoming ODI series.