International Cricket

India vs SA 2023 ODI Series Strongest Playing 11 for Both Teams

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli rested for the three matches as we look at the strongest India vs SA 2023 ODI series Playing 11. 

The Indian cricket team is off to a flying start post the World Cup with a handsome 4-1 win over Australia in the T20 series. It’s been only a couple of weeks since India’s disappointing loss to the same team Australia in the 2023 World Cup final, but will this series win fill the wounds created by the World Cup final loss? Well, we leave that to the fans to decide.  

Nevertheless, Team India now move to South Africa where they shall be playing 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs, and 2 Test matches. While the T20 and Test series shall carry significant importance with the 2024 T20 World Cup and the World Test Championship in hindsight, the least important of all shall be the ODI series where Team India seems to be in full transition. 

Team India have made wholesome changes to their ODI squad with most of the World Cup players being rested. The current selected squad of 16 will see as many as 13 new players in the squad. So. with so many changes in the squad, let’s analyze the current team, and find out the strongest possible playing 11 for the 2023 ODI series vs SA. In addition to this, let’s also look at the official squad list for both teams.  

India vs SA 2023 – Official ODI Series Squad for the Indian Team:

Batters: Rajat Patidar, Rinku Singh, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan, Shreyas Iyer & Tilak Varma

WKs: KL Rahul & Sanju Samson

All-rounders: Axar Patel & Washington Sundar

Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar & Yuzvendra Chahal

India vs SA 2023 Strongest ODI Series Playing 11:

Openers: Ruturaj Gaikwad & Sanju Samson

Team India shall be without three of their first-choice openers, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Ishan Kishan. With a completely revamped opening combination, Ruturaj Gaikwad is confirmed to open the innings. But who opens alongside Ruturaj? Well, India have technically not selected any second opener, and the best available options are Sai Sudharsan, Rajat Patidar, and Sanju Samson.

Now, the selection of the second opener shall completely depend on what the team management thinks. Will they go with the young blood of Sai Sudharsan, play a make-shift opener Rajat Patidar, or stick to the experience of Sanju Samson? Well, ideally, India should allow Sanju Samson to open as he can make a mark as an aggressive ODI opener complementing Ruturaj. 

Middle-order: Tilak Varma, Shreyas Iyer & KL Rahul

Coming to the middle-order, two names that are fixed to play are Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul. Ideally, Shreyas and KL Rahul should play at number 4 and number 5 respectively. But they can shuffle the batting order too with Shreyas coming at 3 and KL Rahul coming at 4 or 5. But who plays other than these three? Well, India once again have three options to look at, and those are Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, and Rajat Patidar. 

If we look at the previous ODI squads for Team India, Tilak Varma has already made his debut, and between the three, he looks the most promising candidate to play the ODI series. Tilak has the potential to play long innings in ODIs, but it will be interesting to see what position he bats in the team. If Iyer moves up the order, we could see Tilak playing at the 4 or 5 position. 

Finishers: Rinku Singh & Axar Patel

Finally, talking about the finishers, the absence of a good batting All-rounder means, Rinku Singh is set to make his debut as a finisher. SKY played that role in the ODI World Cup 2023, and with SKY being dropped and Hardik not available, Rinku shall play the role of a finisher. In addition, Axar Patel will play the role of a bowling all-rounder at number 7 in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja. 

Bowlers: Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar & Arshdeep Singh

Finally, talking about the bowling, it looks like a complete revamp for the Indian team with the only constant name being Kuldeep Yadav. Kuldeep shall once again lead the spin duties for Team India with 3 pacers supporting him. For the pacers, India have four options in the form of Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Deepak Chahar, and Mukesh Kumar. But which three pacers will make the cut?

Well, ideally, Mukesh Kumar and Deepak Chahar seem to be the fixed options. Deepak is a powerplay bowler, he also adds batting depth to the team. Whereas Mukesh Kumar will be a good asset for Middle and death overs. For the third pacer, India need a good powerplay bowler, and Arshdeep Singh’s left-arm pace seems to be the best available option for the Indian team. 

India vs SA 2023 Strongest ODI Series Playing 11 for Indian Team:

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Tilak Varma, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (c&wk), Rinku Singh, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav & Mukesh Kumar 

Talking about South Africa’s playing 11, six big names are missing from the squad, and those are Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Gerald Coetzee, and Marco Jansen. In their place, SA shall mostly play Reeza Hendricks, Tony de Zorzi, Andile Phelukwayo, Nandre Burger, Wiaan Mulder, and Lizaad Williams.

India vs SA 2023 – Official ODI Series Squad for South Africa:

Batters: Aiden Markram, David Miller, , Reeza Hendricks & Tony de Zorzi 

WKs: &

All-rounders: , Mihlali Mpongwana, Nandre Burger & Wiaan Mulder

Bowlers: Lizaad Williams, Ottniel Baartman &

India vs SA 2023 Strongest ODI Series Playing 11 for South Africa:

Reeza Hendricks, Tony de Zorzi, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phelukwayo, Nandre Burger, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj & Lizaad Williams

So, that’s about the strongest India vs SA 2023 ODI playing 11. Overall, both India and South Africa are playing their B team with India, a more C team in comparison. While the series doesn’t hold any significance for near-term gains, it still is an important one for the players who are looking to make a mark on the International stage. Meanwhile, here’s the official schedule for the India vs SA 2023 ODI Series. 

India vs SA 2023 ODI Series Schedule:

  • 1st ODI – Dec 17 @ Johannesburg
  • 2nd ODI – Dec 19 @ Gqeberha
  • 3rd ODI – Dec 21 @ Paarl

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