Clash of Titans: South Africa vs India – 1st ODI Match Preview, 2023/24

2 min read

A month ago, South Africa and India lost ODIs that may have felt like the most pivotal matches of their lives. On Sunday, they will return to the format for the first time since Kolkata and Ahmedabad, and things will feel a lot less life-or-death.

This ODI series is sandwiched between a T20I series in a T20 World Cup year and a Test series, and will for that reason miss a large number of household names. It will feature, instead, a cast of characters of whom many won’t be too well known outside their home countries. South Africa’s squad includes five players who have played ten or fewer ODIs, and India’s as many as nine.

The series will give these players a chance to make selectors’ lives a little more difficult the next time they sit down to pick a squad for a higher-profile series. This isn’t to say that this one lacks profile entirely – the Wanderers will turn pink on Sunday for breast-cancer awareness, and a sellout crowd is expected to pack the stands. The Wanderers is usually a high-scoring ODI venue thanks to its true bounce and the rarefied Highveld atmosphere. Three of the last four games here have produced 300-plus first-innings totals. A largely clear day is expected in Johannesburg, with temperatures in the high 20s.

“I thought we had something really good going and that does filter into this team – from the good side of things. I would say most guys are over it. The nature of cricket nowadays is the schedule is so hectic you are almost forced to move on as quickly as possible so we are pretty much past it and looking forward to the series.” – South Africa captain Aiden Markram on the scars from the World Cup semi-final exit.

You May Also Like

More From Author