The last two matches at Centurion in the current India tour of South Africa were exhilarating, at the point of sharp balance. In the first, India was playing to save the Test series off South Africa after the home team won two consecutive matches. In the second, South Africa was doing the same to save the ODI series from defeat off the visitors. But, the upcoming match, the final ODI, is nowhere close to such excitements. The sixth ODI at Centurion is a dead rubber as India sealed the series winning four matches of the tournament so far.
For India, the match turned out as an opportunity to rest its top bets eyeing the next T20 series. Even for South Africa, the approach to this dead rubber could be the same. In the ODI series, India boosted its bowling ensemble brining all its attackers to the frontline. It paid off, taking down injury trodden South Africa without much difficulties.
Another aspect of team India was the consistency of score, even if there was no consistency among its batsmen. The only prolific player in the India’s batting line has been skipper Virat Kohli, despite his woes of slackened partnership with the rest of the line-up. For South Africa players, especially for debutant Heinrich Klaasen, the match is a good opportunity to prove this selection. Meanwhile, as a reserve for the upcoming T20, the team might rest Kagiso Rabada.
Pitch condition in Centurion is amicable for India as it is quite similar to that of the sub-continent. MS Dhoni is still to knock in the series pushed down the line. In the previous match, he could not get much to play losing his wicket early. He need less than 40 runs to reach the 10,000 ODI runs milestone. Hashim Amla is seeing the match in a positive light, as innings where the need to focus is more.