South Africa vs India, 2018: Confident India eye big series win.
To prevent the Indian team from wrapping up the 6-match series, the Proteas need to continue their tremendous form in Pink ODIs and maintain their unbeaten streak when they are wearing those special pink jerseys.
On the 10th of February, the 3rd ODI between South Africa and India will commence in Johannesburg. Even though this will be the first of the three opportunities for India to win the series, they will want to wrap it up today itself, leaving them the last two games to test their bench strength in overseas conditions.
This match is also going to be the 'Pink Day', when the South African team sport pink jersey to support patients of breast cancer. Now, the long-term history shows that the Proteas are extremely strong when they are donning the special jersey, having a 100% win percentage after five Pink Day matches. However, the story from last nine days paints a different picture as the South African batsmen are having a hard time handling the spin twins of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in their own backyard. The Proteas will have to find a way to neutralize the Indian bowling if they want to delay, or perhaps halt India's series win.
Someone who can individually change the short-term history and help his team bounce back strongly against the mighty Indians is AB De Villiers, who is almost a certainty to take the field for today's match. After the Test series, 'Mr.360' had to sit out the first three ODIs due to a finger injury. However, after passing the fitness test, ABD is back and will be hoping to play a huge hand in lifting the team's morale, confidence and self-esteem. Even though he will not captain the side, his presence in the playing XI itself will be a huge and necessary boost for the hosts. As Chris Morris was quoted saying, "For the team, he brings so much more than just runs, he brings the AB de Villiers factor, let's put it that way." This clearly shows that the Proteas just see themselves as such a stronger team, with just that one name of AB De Villiers added on the playing XI sheet, showcasing the kind of impact he can have on a game, and how he single handedly turn the tables around for South Africa.
At the same time, the remainder of the team must make sure they are not over-dependent on AB De Villiers, something the Indian batsmen have been with Virat Kohli in the series so far. However, Virat Kohli has the luxury to share the burden with two in-form bowlers, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.