OVERS 10.3: SIX! Rohit Sharma welcomed Lungi Ngidi with a huge six over deep square leg. India 68/1
50 up for India in 7.4 overs
OVERS 7.2: OUT! Kagiso Rabada provided South Africa a crucial breakthrough, dismissed Shikhar Dhawan for 34. India 48/1
Dhawan hit eight boundaries in his quick-fire 23-ball knock.
OVERS 7: Dhawan (30* off 21) hit three boundaries off Morkel in the over. India 43/0
OVERS 5.4: SIX! Rohit Sharma hit first maximum of the game off Rabada as he stepped down the pitch to smack it over long-on. India 28/0
OVERS 4: Boundaries from a hook and a top-edge for Dhawan (12*) against Rabada. India 13/0
OVERS 2: Shikhar Dhawan hit first four of the match off Kagiso Rabada. India 5/0
OVERS 1: Morkel started with a maiden over
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan in the middle to start the proceedings for India. Morne Morkel with the ball for South Africa
South Africa won the toss and decided to bowl first against India
No change in India XI, while South Africa brought in
Tabraiz Shamsi in place of Chris Morris
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, MS Dhoni (w), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
South Africa Playing XI: Aiden Markram (c), Hashim Amla, Jean-Paul Duminy, AB de Villiers, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen (w), Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Lungisani Ngidi, Morne Morkel, Tabraiz Shamsi
The Beaufort scale – a widely accepted indicator to identify wind speeds along the coast – predicts ‘moderate’ gusts blowing into the Algoa Bay, a region where Port Elizabeth falls.
‘Moderate’ stands for wind speeds between 25 to 30 kmph and that kind of weather alone will be the most important factor affecting cricket at the St George’s Park here on Tuesday.
Batting and bowling in such windy conditions will be difficult. AB de Villiers, the South African batting mainstay, indicated this much when he walked in to the ground on the eve of the game with a couple of tennis balls and began hitting them with the racquet to identify movement.
Forecasts here predict a delayed start to the fifth ODI between South Africa and India. Bursts of showers are expected in the early half of the day here and that, coupled with heavy winds, will not make things easy for the cricketers.
Keeping this kind of weather in mind, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has invested in new floodlights at this venue. The fifth ODI will be the first international game to be played under the new lights on Tuesday.
If the weather stays true, expect India’s spinners to make every over count on a wicket that looks like a decent turner. The practice wicket was laid down right next to the one that’ll be in use for Tuesday’s game and India’s two wrist spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Yazuvendra Chahal – spent most of their time getting an idea of the conditions and length to bowl.
Weather notwithstanding, India are unlikely to make a change in the XI. At best, the team will consider holding on to middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer, who played in the ‘pink’ ODI, instead of going back to Kedar Jadhav, whose hamstring is still bothering him. Manish Pandey, another middle-order batsman India are travelling with, hasn’t been given a game yet in this series.
The rest of the line-up picks itself and so is the case with South Africa, except that given the nature of the wicket here, the hosts will look to bring back a spinner in Imran Tahir or Tabraiz Shamsi as a likely replacement for pacer Lungi Ngidi, who bowled impressively at the Wanderers.
The St. George’s Park has favoured chasing. India have never won a game here but this team’s path-breaking ways in the 50-over format means no venue is too difficult a challenge. If India win, they will wrap up a first-ever ODI series win in South Africa.
Wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni happens to be less than 50 runs away from 10,000 One-day International runs. Given his recent patchy form, it’ll be the perfect motivation for the team’s senior-most player.