Cricket

Out of form Rohit Sharma skips practice ahead of 3rd ODI at Newlands

[caption id="attachment_62696" align="alignnone" width="580"]DSC09243 Indian captain Virat Kohli waiting for his turn to bat at the nets at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town. Image Source: Xtra Time[/caption]

Internet Desk: India will have their sights set on an unprecedented 3-0 lead when they take on a South African team, which has quite literally fallen apart due to injury blows, in the third ODI of the six-match series, here on Wednesday.

The visitors won the first two matches of the series in Durban and Centurion by six and nine wickets, respectively, dismantling the home side with consummate ease.
But given the hosts' current travails, history repeating itself would be a major disaster for the Men in Blue. The Indians are unlikely to make any changes to the squad that played in the first two ODI’s. That will mean Rohit Sharma will get another opportunity to open the batting for India. Sharma has so far scored only 35 runs in the first two ODI’s.

The Mumbai batsmen skipped the team’s optional training session while his opening partner Dhawan was seen putting in that extra effort at the nets. The left hander was seen having a word with MS Dhoni over his stance. At times the Delhi opener has been found wanting against the short ball.

Indian captain Virat Kohli also practiced with the team today at Newlands. Kohli did not turn up for practice sessions before the last two ODI’s in Durban and Centurion.

The Indians will once again rely on the spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzuvendra Chahal to come good. Together they have shared 13 wickets out of the 18 South African wickets to fall so far in the series.
The hosts South Africa is dogged with injuries to key players like Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock.

Heinrich Klaasen, who finished as the third highest run- getter in the domestic one-day tournament here, is expected to make his ODI debut.
In a way, this could be a blessing in disguise for the hosts as De Kock has been out of form since the test series.

South Africa will be hoping for a better and fast-paced start from the in-form batsman, if he is asked to open along with Hashim Amla.

De Kock and Amla put on 30 and 39 for the opening stand in Durban and Centurion, after which the remaining batting line-up -- barring du Plessis' hundred -- wilted against leg spin.

The Proteas could also include more experienced Ferhaan Behardien to bolster the middle-order and leave out Khayelihle Zondo after his mixed debut outing on Sunday.

In conclusion, South Africa will be keen to mix things up in the hope of countering the wrist-spin threat, and make an impression with the bat in the hurting absence of de Villiers and du Plessis.

Consistency will be key for India as they aim for a historic ODI series win in the Rainbow nation for the first time.

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