Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Back to Centurion, but for a dead rubber

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These teams last went to Centurion with India looking to keep the Test series alive and South Africa looking to prevent the ODI series from becoming a predictable scene of dominance for India. Going back to Centurion a third time, a match presumably given to appease the venue for the lack of a Test during the Australia tour, we have a dead rubber. Finally - and it took a while despite all the injuries to South Africa - it seems like life has been sucked out of this tour.

South Africa have admitted they have got a good-old hiding from India. Unwilling to risk a maiden series win, India had been playing their main bowlers throughout, but once the series was decided even they hinted at resting some of their players before the T20I series. They decided not to train before the ODI. The day before the final ODI felt like a big low following a rushed, tightly packed, action-filled tour. Even Jacob Zuma couldn't be bothered anymore.

The game will be a chance for India to rest somebody like Jasprit Bumrah, who has played every match on the tour. Only Kagiso Rabada has bowled more - 887 balls to Bumrah's 877 - this year and should also earn a rest although South Africa should be more desperate for a face-saving win than India's quest for 5-1. India will also get a chance to look at their middle-order options. In a more evened out contest, India will hope these batsmen are tested in a pressure situation.

Form guide

South Africa: LWLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
India: WLWWW

In the spotlight

Called up on short notice, Heinrich Klaasen has given a decent account of himself with the bat. He has got that first important innings out of the way, which should tell him he belongs to this level. This could be his last ODI for a while as Quinton de Kock should regain fitness, so Klassen will love to now add to the promise with a big innings.

Shreyas Iyer has not had the best of the time in this series. Brought in to replace the injured Kedar Jadhav, he has found himself in difficult situations: he has been caught in two slowdowns, and has also dropped catches in both the matches. This Indian team doesn't discard players so easily; there will be a chance for Iyer again, he will need to show his best cricket because the last two ODIs were not close to his best, whether it be batting or fielding.

Team news

There is a T20I series to follow, and more importantly a big Test series soon after. Expect South Africa to rest Rabada at least. It is not yet certain if Chris Morris has recovered from his stiff back.

South Africa (probable): 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Aiden Markram (capt.), 3 JP Duminy, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 David Miller, 6 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 7 Chris Morris, 8 Andile Phehlukwayo, 9 Lungi Ngidi, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

India have been playing their best XI wanting to seal the series win but should now rest some of them, especially since there is no temptation of a whitewash and also because there is a T20I series starting two days after this ODI. Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could do with a break, Axar Patel could do with a look-in, there are batsmen who have warmed the bench so far, and, finally, don't be surprised if even Virat Kohli rests himself. So it is difficult to list a possible XI for India.

Pitch and conditions

Back to Centurion, the most home-like conditions for India so far. It is hard to see the pitch gathering pace overnight. There is a thunderstorm or two around, but given the good drainage, we should have a match.

Stats and trivia

  • India are the only team other than Australia to have beaten South Africa in South Africa in a series of a five ODIs or more

  • South Africa's batting average of 22.65 and bowling average of 50.2 are their worst numbers in any bilateral series at home

  • In the whole tour, South Africa have registered only one century; India have five, three from Virat Kohli and one each from Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan


"When you're playing well and someone has a brilliant innings, cracks can be covered. But when you lose in this manner, whatever adjustments need to be made, you focus on it more. For me that's a very positive thing."
Hashim Amla looks at the brighter side

  • Markram wasn't the right choice as captain - Graeme Smith

    Taking nothing away from the young captain, Graeme Smith said South Africa could have looked at JP Duminy, Hashim Amla or AB de Villiers to stand in as captain for the ODIs

  • In defeat, Markram remains optimistic about the future

    South Africa's young captain says he is richer for the experience gained in this series, and thinks the lopsided result will spur his team on and make future victories that much sweeter

  • Freed-up Kohli shows what he is truly capable of

    Earlier in the one-day series, the India captain batted according to the match situation, did just what his team needed. Now, with the result of the game holding little value, he had the licence to let himself go, and boy did he put on a show

  • Markram braces for another trial in captaincy run

    Before the ODI series began, Aiden Markram wasn't even sure of a place in the side, but in the span of five matches, he has gone from being touted a future captain to now battling for a permanent spot after SA return to full strength

  • Back to Centurion, but for a dead rubber

    The game will be a chance to rest players like Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada although South Africa should be more desperate for a face-saving win than India's quest for 5-1

Kohli's series


Runs for Kohli in this series, the most for any batsman in a bilateral ODI series. He is also the first to score over 500 runs in a bilateral series. Previous highest was 491 by Rohit Sharma v Aus in 2013-14 series.

Thakur triumphs


Shardul Thakur is the first India fast bowler to take a 3-wicket haul in this series. The spinners have taken six 3-fors.

AB fails


Last time AB de Villiers failed to make a 50+ score in a bilateral ODI series playing 3 or more matches, which was against England. In this series he has made scores of 26, 6 and 30.

Lucky Toss again


Score at which South Africa were dismissed in the second ODI of this series that was played in Centurion, after India had won the toss and put the hosts to bat first. The visitors have won the toss again in this Centurion ODI and chose to field.