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World Cup Squads Begin To Take Shape

Imran Tahir makes his South African debut

While the purists were licking their lips at the chance to watch the world’s top two sides slug it out in the test arena, the modern cricketing thrill seeker will be just as excited as the ODI series begins to take shape.

With the World Cup only a month away, both of these cricketing giants will be looking to streamline their squads prior to the big event.

Three of the five games in this series will be played prior to the squad announcement deadline, and one can be certain that these players will be all too aware of that fact.

The series kicks off in Durban- a hotspot for Indian support.

All eyes for South Africa are on Pakistan-born legspinner Imran Tahir as he makes his international debut for his adopted nation.

South African captain Graeme Smith described the inclusion of the leg-spinner in the Proteas’ one-day line-up as a dream come true. Smith, when asked about his thoughts on having an attacking spinner in the squad, said: “It is something I have dreamt about during my captaincy.”

It has been a long time since South Africa could boast a half useful spinner- and this chap is the real deal.

Tahir lines up as a potentialslow-bowling partner to Johan Botha, while Colin Ingram, who scored a century on ODI debut, fills in for the injured Jacques Kallis at number three.

The battle for the third seamer's position will be between Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell.

India (possible): 1 Sachin Tendulkar, 2 M Vijay, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 R Ashwin / 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 / Robin Petersen, 7 David Miller, 8 Johan Botha, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Wayne Parnell / Lonwabo Tsotsobe, 11 Morne Morkel

Injuries to Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have led to call-ups for Rohit Sharma and M Vijay for the series, though Virat Kohli appears to have impressed enough in the middle order for his place to be settled.

Piyush Chawla returns to the shorter format after more than two years in the wilderness, while Harbhajan Singh will look to build on the momentum generated in the Test series.

South Africa, at home on pace friendly pitches will always head in as favourites at odds on here.

Keep your eye on Kohli. This youngster comes into this series on the back oftwo centuries and two half-centuries in his last six matches and can whack the ball a mile.

For South Africa, Colin Ingram will be looking to once again prove that South Africa’s future is bright- even when considering the end of a Kallis era.

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