December 8, 2022

India vs South Africa 3rd ODI: With series already lost, KL Rahul and Co. may look to test bench strength in Cape Town | Cricket News – Times of India

There was a time when a score between 280-300 was considered a match-winning one in the 50-over format of the sport. Teams batting first followed a pattern while constructing their innings: see off the new ball and not lose wickets in the first 10 overs, then gradually build momentum in the next 20 overs, with conserving wickets being the priority.
The logic was to double the score achieved in the final 20 overs by resorting to a T20 kind of batting in the end. With wickets in hand, the slog overs – 40 to 50 – was all about going hell for leather. The 2011 World Cup, which India won at home, followed a similar pattern.
Things changed after the 2015 World Cup. The flagbearer of the change was the English team. England had crashed out of the 2015 tournament in the group stage itself, failing to beat a single Test-playing nation. This led to some deep thinking among the English ranks and they changed their customary conservative approach into a radical, fearless and free-spirited style.
Under the leadership of Eoin Morgan, England brought in players who could bat at a strike rate of more than 100 and progressively go further. An emphasis was put on getting in a strong group of allrounders who were dynamic with both and ball. This meant England batted deep.

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The results were there for everyone to see. England started piling more and more 350-plus totals, chased down 300-plus targets and went on to win the 2019 World Cup.
The coming 50-over World Cup is going to be played in India next year, and the Indian ODI team is somewhat at a crossroads. The two comprehensive losses in the first two ODIs against South Africa are testimony enough. It is about time Team India pushes the reset button in the 50-over format. A step towards that will be testing the bench strength.

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There are dynamic batsmen like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav who haven’t got opportunities on a consistent basis. Among bowlers, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj and Jayant Yadav are waiting in the wings. The popular opinion that Chahar, Siraj, Ruturaj and Suryakumar should’ve started the South Africa series. But India went the conservative route.

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There is a likelihood that Chahar and Surya are going to don the blue in the third ODI in Cape Town. Chahar in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has looked off colour for quite some time now. In his last 10 ODIs, Bhuvi has scalped 13 wickets at 36.39, with an economy rate of 5.69 and strike rate of 38.3.
Suryakumar might be given a chance for either of the two Iyers, Shreyas or Venkatesh. Suryakumar has impressed all in the limited opportunities he has got to wear the India cap. In three ODIs, he has scored 124 runs at an average of 62 and a strike rate of 122.77. Besides, in the T20Is, he has scored 244 runs in 9 innings at an average of 34.85 and a strike rate of 155.41.
The Cape Town ODI may be a dead rubber, but for many on the Indian side it holds much importance in terms of their international careers.

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