Kohli in Form and Morkel in Doubt for Sunday’s ODI Series Decider
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India have played a game of catch-up so far in this five-match ODI series that culminates in the decider on Sunday at the Wankhede Stadium.
After trailing 2-1 by the end of the team’s third face-off, MS Dhoni’s team managed to keep the series alive in Chennai on Thursday, winning the match by 35 runs – a victory made possible mostly by Virat Kohli’s pyrotechnics that resulted in a 138-run contribution.
While the Mumbai crowd may already have the encouragement to pack the stadium on Sunday, India’s history at the Wankhede Stadium against the visitors may well ensure a packed house. India have beaten South Africa all three times the two teams had a face-off in Mumbai. Twice in 1996 and the last one in November 2005.
A long series like this was never really going to be an easy one for the ageing legs in both the squads. While Ravi Ashwin was the first casualty, picking up a side strain in the opener, MS Dhoni has managed to fill the gap pretty well with Harbhajan Singh holding his own on Indian pitches that favour him.
In the opposing camp, AB de Villiers’ go-to pacer Morne Morkel sat out in Chennai after putting in a 4/39 performance while carrying a leg injury in Rajkot. On Saturday, Hashim Amla confirmed that he would most likely miss Sunday’s fixture as well.
I don’t think Morne is fit enough to play tomorrow. He bowled a bit in the nets and probably we will take the final call tomorrow, but I don’t think he will be fit.
Hashim Amla to reporters at the Wankhede Stadium
Also missing from the Proteas camp in Mumbai will be the man-of-the-series from the T20 outings last month, Jean-Paul Duminy, who was ruled out for the final two ODIs due to a hand injury.
India’s Swinging Bats
Just when the packed stands started missing the over-the-top aggression from the Indian test skipper, Virat Kohli stepped into fourth gear in Rajkot picking up a 77 in a losing cause.
Lesson learned. Come Chennai, and Kohli found his sixth gear and scored 138 on his own bat to ensure India posted a massive 299. His first century in 14 innings helped India equalise the series.
Kohli, though, is still one run behind opener Rohit Sharma in the rankings for the highest-scorer in the Indian dressing room. The Mumbai batsman has notched up 239 so far, riding on the back of his 150 and 65.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni – between his batting order switches – has managed to get some batting practice out in the middle. Averaging the highest among his wards, the skipper has picked up 185 from 4 games at 61.66 runs per innings
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