Jacques Kallis, South Africa's captain for the ODI series against India, has said his team is looking at the three games as preparation for the 2011 World Cup which will be held in the subcontinent. South Africa's recent ODI form, however, has been relatively disappointing, as they were beaten by England at home and exited early from the Champions Trophy. The defeats followed series victories against Australia both home and away.
The opening ODI in Jaipur will be South Africa's 11th under Kallis, who has taken over from an injured Graeme Smith. "From a team point of view, there is a lot at stake in the series," Kallis said. "The World Cup is here in another year's time and a lot, including about conditions, can be learnt from this series. We need to win this series as part of our preparation for the World Cup. We have not done well against England at home and we need to turn it around."
Kallis hinted at the possibility of trying out some of South Africa's younger players in the series. They have batsman Loots Bosman in their squad as well as left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe. "We are trying to find out the right combination in these conditions. We have come here to win the series and learn more about the players and see how good they are," he said. "We are fortunate to have a lot of allrounders. You need them in ODIs. In one-dayers, you want to bat as deep as you can and we have been fortunate in that aspect."
India will be without Harbhajan Singh, whose five-for won India the Kolkata Test, for he'll be attending his sister's wedding. However, Kallis felt India still had depth in their bowling. "He is a world-class bowler of course but India have some more quality bowlers and they are a strong one-day side. We cannot take them lightly and it would be an interesting series."
Kallis also confirmed that Mark Boucher, who missed the second Test due to a back problem, will be available for the ODIs.