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South Africa Seek To Drop Chokers Tag


South Africa has done themselves no favours in shaking off the chokers tag with their one run loss at the Wanderers, only a few days ago.

What will also be of concern to the hosts is the collapse portrayed by the middle order, beginning with the dismissal of JP Duminy.

Smith fell immediately after taking the batting Powerplay, while the rest of the order simply crumbled.

If the young David Miller, and Faf du Plessis, who is likely to play today, can get in a good knock under pressure in the remaining matches, it will do their confidence wonders in their attempt to finally bring home a World Cup.

After losing the mainstay of its batting lineup in Sachin Tendulkar, due to hamstring injury, a young-looking Indian set-up will have a daunting task ahead of them to attempt to take a lead in the five-match ODI series.

India’s three regular openers, Sachin, Sehwag and Gambhir, have already returned back to the subcontinent on the back of injuries and Dhoni will be left to rely on inexperienced and makeshift openers.

However the likes of Yusuf Pathan and Suresh Raina will find that the pitches in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth will not offer the unpredictable bounce of the first two ODI’s, providing them a better chance to succeed.

The World Cup selection has eased the worries of a certain Ashish Nehra, however inspired performances from the likes of Munaf Patel might very well see him looking to improve.

India (possible): 1 M Vijay, 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Yusuf Pathan, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Harbhajan Singh, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Munaf Patel, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Ashish Nehra

South Africa (possible): 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Colin Ingram, 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Johan Botha, 8 Dale Steyn, 9 Wayne Parnell, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Following on from the last clash at the Wanderers, India have won two games against South Africa by a single run, making them the third team to win two or more games by a one-run margin against the same opposition.

JP Duminy is being hailed as the man to watch as he turns out on his home ground. The two games played so far also showed that he is trying hard to correct his technical weaknesses, and he has a handful more games to ensure that he takes up a leadership role towards a weak lower order.

Kohli has been doing well at the number three and could just be expecting too much to get him to open, while Pathan may struggle against the rising new ball.

Keep an eye out for Yusuf Pathan here. The pitches in the latter part of this series shouldn't have as much venom as Durban or Johannesburg, giving him his best opportunity to succeed and take some confidence through to his world Cup campaign.

South Africaare still hot favourites here at odds-on as India field a largely inexperienced set-up.

Amla is favoured to top score for the hosts, while Kohli takes the spoils for a resurgent India.

Expect South Africa to come out hard here today, and look to eliminate any doubts from the home faithful that this team is once again a combination of superstars on their day, but chokers when it counts.




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