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3 Players To Watch Out For In India’s ODI Series Against South Africa

Shubman Gill plays a shot
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Team India take on South Africa in a three-match ODI series at home on the eve of the T20 World Cup. Shikhar Dhawan will lead a fresh-faced India side against the Proteas, with none of the members of the Men in Blue’s 15-man T20 World Cup squad taking part in the three 50-over games. There are six potential ODI debutants for team India in the squad for this series, while four players are yet to feature for the Men in Blue in an international match.

With a home ODI World Cup just 12 months away, these three matches will be a good opportunity for players to impress the selectors and here are three rising stars to watch out for in the series.

India Vs South Africa: 3 players to watch out for in ODI series

1. Shubman Gill


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Shubman Gill will resume his partnership with Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order, and another promising showing from the young opener could give the selectors a tough decision on who to leave out once the captain Rohit Sharma returns to the side. Sharma and Dhawan have been two of the pillars of India’s ODI batting line-up for the best part of a decade, with the right-left pair scoring over 5000 runs and 18-century partnerships together. However, Dhawan’s numbers and strike rate have dropped off in the last two years, while Gill has shone for the team since his return to the ODI side.

The 23-year-old has an average of 112 and a strike rate of 111 in six ODI appearances for the country this year, and his ability to take on the spinners and play shots across the ground could see him displace Shikhar Dhawan in India’s XI for the ODI World Cup.

2. Rajat Patidar


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From not even being selected in the IPL auction in 2022 to receiving your maiden call-up for team India, it has been a whirlwind year for Rajat Patidar. The batter starred for RCB in the latter half of the IPL, becoming only the second Indian to score a century in the playoffs, before impressing in domestic cricket and for India A. The Madhya Pradesh batter scored two centuries in four innings at an average of 106 in the two red-ball games against New Zealand A and had a strike rate of 112 in the List A matches.

Patidar may be behind the likes of Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Shreyas Iyer, and Ishan Kishan in the pecking order for this squad, but the right-hander will offer some utility as a fast-scoring middle-order batter if given an opportunity.

3. Mukesh Kumar


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Another potential debutant who received their first call-up to India’s ODI squad is Bengal medium pacer, Mukesh Kumar. Kumar was the highest wicket-taker in India A’s red-ball unofficial Test series against New Zealand A last month, picking up nine wickets at 21.78. The 28-year-old was also Bengal’s highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy last season, with 20 scalps, and played an instrumental role in the Rest of India’s victory over Saurashtra in the recently concluded Irani Cup.

While all the focus is on the upcoming T20 World Cup, this series between Team India and South Africa will be a good test for Shikhar Dhawan’s side leading up to the 50-over World Cup next year, giving opportunities to players on the fringes of the squad to impress and force their way into contention.


[Featured Image Credit: ANI]