Eyes turn to ODI World cup after South Africa India test series

January 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm 2 comments

After an absorbing test series which eventually petered out to a draw, South Africa and India will now look forward to a one-day series which should give a good indication of who is in the best shape for next month’s World Cup tournament.

After such a big series, it’s to be expected that attention will gradually tail away as crowds have their fill of test cricket, only to have an extended one day series put in front of them – Australia and England have also fallen foul of this curiosity of modern-day fixture scheduling. But the one-day series between the two best sides in test cricket has the rare distinction of being almost on par with its test counterpart.

Even more intriguing is that teams must finalise their 15 man squads for the World Cup by January 19th – at which point this ODI series will be only three games out of five down. This gives fringe player’s ample opportunity to influence their selectors ahead of the final decision – come the final cut, both squads could have a very different look to them.

Injuries to test star Virender Sehwag and leading IPL auction pick Guatam Ghambir are big blows to India – both score runs quickly in one-day cricket and would likely have exceled on lively but not unplayable South African pitches. A close race would have ensued over who will score the most runs in any spread bet.

Replacements Rohit Sharma and M Vijay have big boots to fill, but can view this opportunity to stake an unlikely claim for a place in India’s final 15 if they succeed in this series. India’s bowling appears to have caught up with their batting counterparts in terms of strength in depth, at least in the one-day arena. Competition is rife for World Cup spot, with Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar all playing for spots alongside dead certs Asish Nehra and Zaheer Kahn.

Harbhajan Singh is likely to be joined by Ashwin as second spinner, although Piyush Chawla is back in contention after a two year absence.

The big blow for South Africa came when Jacques Kallis was ruled out the series with a rib injury – not that it halted any of his batting heroics in a test series which was punctuated with treatment from the physio. Colin Ingram will look to do justice to the impossible task of replacing Kallis, and will find himself in pole position for the World Cup squad if he succeeds. The injury to Kallis will no doubt play on the mind of Captain Graeme Smith – his finest batsman would have been most likely to head up the leading run scorer competition in any spread bet guide.

The intriguing sub-plot of a World Cup birth will add to the excitement which already surrounds this series. What a blow it would be for the confidence of one side were they to be defeated comprehensively by the other so close to the World Cup. With Australia and England about to embark upon a similar battle all is to play for in the battle for one-day supremacy. All teams will insist the focus is entirely on the respective one-day series, but one eye will be constantly fixed on the looming World Cup in the near distance.

By Pete South


Entry filed under: Cricket.

England tickled pink as they amass huge lead England handed World Cup boost

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ciprian nom  |  January 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    cricket one of the oldest game in the world great post !!

  • 2. faza  |  January 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm



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