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Virat Kohli vs Lungi Ngidi: Five key clashes in India vs South Africa ODI series

The Virat Kohli-led India will be aiming for their first bilateral ODI series win on the South African soil when they take on Faf du Plessis’ men in a six-match rubber. Here’s a look at the five key clashes that could decide the fate of the series.

cricket Updated: Jan 31, 2018 16:37 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
India vs South Africa,South Africa vs India,Virat Kohli
South Africa’s Lungi Ngidi, who dismissed Virat Kohli twice in the Test series, will look to get the better of the India captain (again) in the six-match ODI series, starting Thursday. (HT Photo )

The Virat Kohli-led India will face South Africa in a six-match ODI series, starting at the Kingsmead Cricket Ground, Durban, starting Thursday. Here’s a look at five match-ups that could determine the outcome of this series - (INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA FULL COVERAGE)

Virat Kohli vs Lungi Ngidi

Kohli was India’s highest run-getter in the Tests, scoring 286 in three matches. He finished 2017 as the year’s leading scorer in ODIs with 1460 runs in 26 matches. Lungi Ngidi is yet to make his ODI debut, but the 21-year-old was the Man-of-the-Match picking up seven wickets in his debut Test. He dismissed the India captain twice in the two Tests.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Hashim Amla

Will Hashim Amla come out on top or will Bhuvneshwar Kumar be successful in using the conditions to his advantage? ( HT Photo )

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s swing and accuracy will test South Africa’s batting mainstay Amla. Despite his Test-like approach, Amla has an ODIs average of 51.26. Kumar had begun India’s Test series with a bang giving India early breakthroughs.

(Read | India vs South Africa: Durban gets raw deal despite substantial Indian population)

Their face-off is going to be a battle of attrition since both of them love to play on the patience of their opponent.

Jasprit Bumrah vs Quinton de Kock

Jasprit Bumrah will look to get the better of Quinton de Kock, who hasn’t been in good form. ( HT Photo )

Bumrah can produce yorkers at will. De Kock can take any bowling apart. Five of De Kock’s 13 ODI hundreds have come against India. He is not in form now but would like to hit his way back among runs. India would want Bumrah to get him early.

Rohit Sharma vs Kagiso Rabada

Rohit Sharma, who failed to score big in the three-Test series, will face a tough challenge from Kagiso Rabada -- who the has ability to swing it both ways. ( HT Photo )

To produce runs like he does in the subcontinent, Rohit has to deal with Rabada first. Rabada has the ability to generate awkward bounce and would look to unsettle Rohit with his raw pace. The Mumbai batsman, who has a record three double centuries in ODIs, has an average of 12 in eight ODIs in South Africa.

MS Dhoni vs Imran Tahir

Both MS Dhoni and Imran Tahir have been consistent performers in ODIs in the last few years. ( HT Photo )

Despite talks of Dhoni’s finishing abilities petering out, he remains India’s best bet in the death, especially after Hardik Pandya showing an urgency to throw his wicket away. Tahir doesn’t mind bowling in power play overs. Googly is his most potent weapon, but it may not be enough to fox someone of Dhoni’s calibre.

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 16:32 IST