Cape Town — After all the giddiness of the Test series victory achieved last week, South Africa now face another monumental challenge with the ODI series starting against India in Paarl on Wednesday.
The Proteas have yet to win an ODI series of any sort since the resumption of international career post the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. This includes defeats to Pakistan (home), Sri Lanka (away) and a drawn series against Ireland (away). There was also a postponed series against the Netherlands that will be replayed after the Omicron variant halted the proceedings with immediate effect last November.
This has left the Proteas in ninth position on the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League standings after 10 matches and in grave danger of having to qualify for the next Cricket World Cup in India next year.
India, meanwhile, are in fifth position although this series will not count to points towards the ICC Super League standings.
Either the way the visitors still boast a power-packed squad even though they will be without their new white-ball captain Rohit Sharma, who has been ruled out through injury.
KL Rahul, who led India in the second Test at the Wanderers too, will instead be in charge with experienced hands such as Shikhar Dhawan and Ravichandran Ashwin to rely on. Former skipper Virat Kohli will also be eager to show that he still has plenty to offer India now that he has relinquished all leadership responsibilities after resigning from the Test captaincy over the weekend.
There is also plenty of exciting young talent for South African viewers to look forward to in the form of Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Equally, though, the Proteas will once again be under the leadership of Temba Bavuma that takes back the reins from Test captain Dean Elgar.
Plenty of focus will also be on new Test sensation Marco Jansen to see whether the lanky all-rounder will be handed an ODI debut after his exploits the past month.
The first two matches will be played at Boland Park in Paarl before moving to Newlands for the final match of the series.
FULL SQUADS FOR ODI SERIES:
South Africa Squad: Temba Bavuma (C), Zubayr Hamza, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Quinton de Kock, Kyle Verreynne, Keshav Maharaj, Sisanda Magala, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.
India Squad: KL Rahul (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Jayant Yadav, Navdeep Saini.