De Villiers back in squad for last three ODIs against India

Saturday, 10 Feb, 2018

India's indomitable cricket team look set for a landmark series triumph but an injury-ravaged South Africa will hope for some AB de Villiers magic to halt their charge in the fourth ODI on Saturday. India's wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have accounted for 21 out of 27 South African wickets in three outings. Everytime the spinners have come into the attack, South Africa have lost a slew of wickets and truth to be told, if it wasn't for Kohli's conservative decision to go back to his fifth bowler and a part-time bowler - in this case Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav - whenever new batsmen were at the crease, the hosts would've folded far more early in the previous two matches. He's done exceedingly well nearly every time in the Pink ODIs. India won the Test match here earlier against South Africa on a pitch that was deemed to be unsafe. It is the "Pink ODI", played for the awareness against breast cancer and for the benefit of those suffering from the disease.

South Africa have played five ODIs in pink and are undefeated in their change strip.

Not only does de Villiers' enjoy playing at the Wanderers, he has a special connection with the Pink ODIs as well. The former skipper slammed a memorable 44-ball 149 against West Indies in 2015.

Australia should thank India for shattering South Africa's confidence before Steve Smith's Ashes-winning team play their first Test, in Durban, starting March 1. And in the 14th over, de Villiers walked in to bat at 42/2.

After Wednesday's 124-run capitulation at Newlands, the Proteas can only level the series now with the visitors just one victory away from re-writing the record books. He averages 51.80 versus India (43.45 at home).

Aiden Markram will continue to deputise as captain and Heinrich Klaasen will remain behind the stumps whether De Villiers plays or not.

Also, de Villiers will come in handy to tackle his RCB teammate Chahal. The overall tour has been more favourable for the tourists. Uncapped pacer Zintle Mali could get a look in in place of Klaas, who has failed to impress so far.

Kagiso Rabada has been a thorn in Rohit Sharma's flesh in this series. The gamble is more likely to pay off rather than laying out a dry wicket which is bound to assist the spin twins- who've ran through the inexperienced South African lineups. Kohli's game is based on nailing the basics and his unique quality is that he is a finisher despite batting in top three and not your typical No 6 or No 7 position (ala Michael Bevan, MS Dhoni). "And we are going to imbibe the culture and be a part of this country". Why isn't Dhoni given a fixed batting slot? He didn't strike at 100 today but then picked it up at the end. Overall, he scored his 12th ODI hundred as Indian skipper, going past Sourav Ganguly's record of 11 centuries.

While Goswami was happy with her personal achievement, she said that the focus was on winning the games as they were looking to qualify for the ICC Women's World Cup 2021.

Catch all the action from the 4th "Pink" ODI from the Wanderers at Johannesburg on Saturday, 10th February, 4:30 PM IST, 1:00 PM local time. Of these, 174 runs have representing Asia XI. "The AB de Villiers factor, let's put it that way", he added. They followed that with a nine-wicket win with 177 balls in hand in the second ODI, at Centurion.

Editorial team of CricketCountry.