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India vs South Africa: Ruturaj Gaikwad to Marco Jansen – Players to Watch Out For in 1st ODI

After missing out on another chance of scripting history in the Test series, Team India moves on to fight in the ODIs against South Africa. Under the leadership of KL Rahul, the Men in Blue will take on the Proteas in the first game of the 3-match series, which will be played on Wednesday in Paarl. The visitors are unlikely to miss Rohit Sharma, who was sidelined due to an injury, as the squad comprises at least five openers to choose from. Also, the focus will be on Virat Kohli who’s going to play his first game in the coloured kit after an unceremonious exit as captain. Meanwhile, South Africa will be confident after the victory in the Test series and the return of Quinton de Kock is going to be a major boost.

The tour of 2018 was a memorable one when India didn’t let South Africa dominate. The tourists would like to repeat the heroics once again but before the first encounter gets underway, let’s have a look at the players to watch out for:

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KL Rahul: The Karnataka batter is set to lead India in ODIs for the first time. Rohit Sharma’s absence due to an injury has handed a massive opportunity to Rahul and it would be interesting to see how he deals with it. As a batsman, he has been in a great space lately. The team management would have full faith in his batting. On the captaincy front, he has the backing of his former captain who is available as a batsman only.

Shikhar Dhawan: Almost six months later, the left-hand batter is back in the Indian dressing room. The recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy wasn’t that great for Dhawan, but his stature as an established player makes him one of the favourites in this series. He is one of the candidates for the opening slot and if he makes it to the final XI, it will be a treat to watch him bat.

Ruturaj Gaikwad: Four hundreds in five domestic matches was something that forced the selectors to name Ruturaj in the ODI squad. The Maharashtra batter is eagerly waiting for an opportunity to showcase his prowess in the fifty-over format and the fans are equally excited to watch him play.

Quinton de Kock: After bidding adieu to the longest format of the game, Quinton de Kock will be back in action for the ODIs against India. The 29-year-old is a prolific member of the South African squad and with more than 5300 runs in the format, the left-hander will be key among batters.

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Marco Yansen: The lanky pacer proved his mettle in the Tests with 19 wickets in his kitty. He ended the series as the second-highest wicket-taker and will be raring to go in the ODIs as well. Being a left-arm pacer, he will likely pose the maximum threat to India’s batting unit.

Aiden Markram: After De Kock, Markram is another crucial cog in South Africa’s batting line-up. He played a few outstanding knocks in the previous ODI series against Sri Lanka, scoring 119 runs in 3 ODIs. He was quite off-colour in the Tests and will seek redemption if he gets a game against the visitors in the upcoming game in Paarl.

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