The second ODI between South Africa and India takes place on Sunday when the two sides meet at Centurion. The home side will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat in the first game while the tourists will be out to achieve more of the same.
Should India go two up in the series with a win here then South Africa will need to win the remaining four matches to take the series which feels like a tough ask so this is a huge game for the hosts.
I don’t think the South Africans will need to look too far to see where they went wrong in the first match. They could not cope with the Indian leg spinners and they must combat that if they are going to get back into the series let alone win it. If they can do that then there was enough to suggest they will be competitive here.
I thought South Africa battled well with the ball but it became apparent quite early in India’s innings that they hadn’t put enough runs on the board and ultimately that cost them but from an effort point of view they were fine. I’m sure they would appreciate a little more pace and bounce in the tracks moving forward.
It wasn’t a completely perfect opening match of the series for India but considering they went into it as the underdogs they will have been delighted with their performance overall. They pulled things back nicely with the ball to restrict a decent side to an under par total and then when they batted they were comfortable.
They might like to improve their running between the wickets in future matches as there was one run out and then a couple of other scares but those kind of things tend to happen naturally. If India were to repeat the standard of their performance from the opening match then they would have every chance of another win here.
South Africa will be forced into a change as their captain Faf du Plessis broke a finger in the opening match of the series. He will be replaced as captain by Aiden Markram while Ferhaan Behardien is the favourite to take his spot in the side.
India have no need to make changes to their side but if they want to change things then you would think it would be like for like swaps that they make. The likelihood is they will be unchanged.
There have been 50 previous ODI matches held at the Centurion venue with South Africa involved in most of them. They have 24 wins and 11 defeats with a no result from their 36 matches. India have a fair record by their standards. In 11 matches they have won four, lost five and suffered two no results.
We are back in the Highveld for this match so the ball will fly much further. The strip at Centurion is always great to bat on and there is rarely much in it for the bowlers so we should be in for another high scoring match.
I backed India to win the series before a ball was bowled and I’m backing them to win this match as well. I thought they were very good in the first game and the way South Africa played the Indian spinners was very concerning. Nobody apart from du Plessis seemed to have much of a clue against them and he isn’t playing here.
There might even be more to come from India too with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan only just getting going when they got out. South Africa’s batting had a light feel to it with de Villiers missing but throw du Plessis’ absence into the equation and them now being captained by a player iin just his third ODI and I think it is India who hold the aces now.
I’ll have a little punt on Chris Morris to top score for the home side. He was one player who gave du Plessis some support in the first match and if South Africa play the Indian spinners as poorly again then Morris should make it to the crease at a reasonable time in the innings to get himself in and score big. If India can threaten with the new ball that becomes a realistic prospect and at 20/1 he’s an easy bet.
WON – Back India to beat South Africa for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Coral
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