Image courtesy: PTI
India is currently leading the scoresheet by 3-1. Momentum is shifted towards home side after an astonishing win at Wanderers.
MS Dhoni required 46 runs to reach 10,000 runs in ODI. He will be the 12th player to reach that feat. The 4th player from India after Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.
The thunderstorm came over Indian wrist spinners at wanderer. Where both wrist spinners Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal proved quite expensive. Proteas batsman trash spin twin out of the park. The bowlers who made the life of South African batsman difficult in first 3 ODI matches. The 4th match changed the whole scenario.
After 4th ODI South Africa got a big boost as they counter Indian spinners. Especially AB De Villiers, David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen find easy axis to play duo spinner. The challenge will be bigger for Indian spinners. They need to cope up with failure and try to come back strong in 5th ODI. Spinners are vital weapon for visitors. Which they used to win first 3 matches. If their spinners fire on the 5th ODI then they can hand India their first ever bilateral series win in South Africa.
India has worries in their middle Order. Ajinkya Rahane scored runs in the 1st match but he failed in 3rd&4th ODI. The problem with Rahane is that he needs time to settle. But in both the match India got the good start from the top order. Ajinkya Rahane came to bat but he tried to increase the run rate from the start of his innings. He stoked his innings differ from his character that is the reason for his failure.
However, the biggest concern for the visitors is they have very week lower order. Lack of power hitter in the death overs. India highly banks on Hardik Pandya to play the role of finisher. But every passing match that he played we find that he finds difficult to hit quality fast bowlers. However, he is the good player of spin. MS Dhoni bats at number 6 position which means he still plays the role of finisher which is not faring on him.
MS Dhoni should bat at number 4 to make himself set and then launch in last 10 overs. India has to find no5 and no 6 solid batsmen. I think one left-hander is must at that position. Suresh Raina is in the contention for number 5 batting position.
If you ask me then I definitely go with Ajinkya Rahane at number 4, MS Dhoni at number 5 and Ravindra Jadeja/Axar Patel at number 6.
South Africa batting has depth and power hitters. Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo are the very dangerous hitters in last 10 overs.
What to expect from the pitch
The wicket at Port Elizabeth is more like Indian condition. It will be slow and offer spin. The condition gives the edge to the visitors. Batsman will find difficulty in scoring runs. The match is expected to be low scoring.
Squad for the 5th ODI
India: Most likely India will play with the same team.
South Africa: Imran Tahir will be expected to make his way in playing eleven at the cost of Lungi Ngidi.
Note: the match will start at 4:30 local; 1:30 IST.