India v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Gwalior
Ind vs SA 2nd ODI - India Look to Seal Series at Gwalior23-Feb-2010 09:55:00 GMT
Gwalior: After escaping with a narrow win in Jaipur, India would aim to plug their bowling loopholes and seal the three-match series to retain the number two spot in ICC rankings when they take on South Africa in the second ODI on Wednesday.
The Indian batsmen are in good nick but the worrying factor for the hosts is the bowling department as they leaked too many runs in the series opener and received an unexpected bashing at the hands of tail-enders Dale Steyn and Wayne Parnell in Jaipur.
What looked like a one-sided contest in India's favour at one stage became an edge-of-the-seat thriller as the host bowlers let go their grip over the match with their wayward line. India, though, managed to pull it off by just a run, the closest of victory margins.
It was a psychological blow for the South Africans, who have been labelled chokers for losing close matches on a regular basis, but they are expected to come hard at the Indians in do-or-die tie at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium.
The team who which wins this series will end the year as number two behind world champions Australia.
India's gamble of playing only three specialist bowlers - all pacers - paid off in Jaipur, but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni must be scratching his head while weighing his options for Wednesday's tie.
India do not have much of a choice in the absence of Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, and Dhoni is most likely to go with the same combination.
He will hope that part-timers Ravindra Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan would yet again contribute in stifling the South African innings and the pace trio of Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar and S Sreesanth or Sudeep Tyagi will put up a better show.
Sreesanth was off colour in Jaipur and it remains to be seen if the team management retains him or calls up Uttar Pradesh paceman Sudeep Tyagi.
Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Jadeja did reasonably well in Jaipur to help India post a fighting total.
For South Africa, the swashbuckling opening pair of Loots Bosman and Herschelle Gibbs has to strike form for the visitors.
The ever-reliable stand-in skipper Jacques Kallis is a solid pillar in the visitors middle-order and can shape the innings quite well but he needs support at the other end to make his innings count.
India: Since Jadeja and Pathan have done well, leg-spinner Amit Mishra is unlikely to get a call.
Squad (likely): MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Sudeep Tyagi/S Sreesanth/Amit Mishra.
South Africa: Since Petersen falls early, Test series hero Hashim Amla in likely to get a call.
Squad (likely): Jacques Kallis (capt), Loots Bosman, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Albie Morkel, Alviro Petersen/Hasim Amla, Johan Botha, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn, Charl Langeveldt.
Pitch & conditions
As the curator has predicted a batting paradise for the match, Indian batsmen would aim to convert good starts into big knocks. Putting up a big total, on batting first, is the only way to put pressure on South Africa and the tried and tested Virender Sehwag along with Sachin Tendulkar will be key to India's plan.
Stats and trivia
- History favours the hosts at this venue since out of nine matches they have played here, seven have resulted in victory for India.
- India won 7-matches from nine, lost only two One-dayer against West Indies and Kenya.
- India beat south Africa at Gwalior
Wednesday February 24, 2010 (day/night)
Start time: 14:30 local (09:00 GMT)