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Updated December 18th, 2023 at 15:27 IST

2nd ODI: Patidar or Rinku set for debut; India look to seal series

The immensely gifted Rajat Patidar will be pitted against the flamboyant Rinku Singh for the lone available batting slot when a determined Indian team gears up for the final kill against a lacklustre South Africa in the second ODI here on Tuesday.

Rinku Singh
Rinku Singh plays a shot while representing India. | Image:BCCI
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The immensely gifted Rajat Patidar will be pitted against the flamboyant Rinku Singh for the lone available batting slot when a determined Indian team gears up for the final kill against a lacklustre South Africa in the second ODI here on Tuesday.

After young pacers Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan produced a near flawless performance in the opening game that India won by eight wickets, KL Rahul wouldn't like to take his foot off the pedal and aim to heal the scars of 0-3 defeat here under his leadership back in 2022.

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India will handover a debut ODI cap to one of its reserve batters as Shreyas Iyer has linked up with the Test squad after Sunday's game with an eye on the two-match series, starting on 'Boxing Day'.

The world wants to watch more of Rinku, the left-hander, who is earning new fans by thousands with every passing match. The diminutive left-hander has shown that he has the technique and temperament to succeed on South African tracks that offer way more bounce compared to the sub-continent pitches.

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However, the Indore-based right-hander Patidar had made it to Indian ODI team back in 2022 itself but in the past one year had to struggle and underwent a heel surgery earlier this year.

The Indian team management has very specific roles for players and while Rinku is being looked upon as a finisher at No. 6, the 30-year-old Patidar is more of a specialist No. 4 when he bats for his state team Madhya Pradesh.

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Hence, with Iyer, a right-hander vacating a slot in the playing XI, his like-for-like replacement is Patidar.

In case of Rinku, the No.6 slot currently has been given to Sanju Samson, who is playing as a specialist batter behind skipper KL Rahul, who is donning the big gloves.

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As has been the template of national team managements, they would like to give Samson, who is senior to Rinku, a fair go at that slot before turning to the southpaw.

However Rinku's brilliant List A record (near 50 average) will force the team management to give him a go.

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In fact, both Rinku and Patidar could get a go but in that case, Tilak Varma, who got to face just a couple of deliveries in the opening game, will have to be dropped from the playing eleven. That doesn't seem very logical at the moment.

The opening game witnessed the debut of young left-handed opener B Sai Sudharsan, whose silken half-century held a lot of promise going into the future. For the hosts, this series is a massive white ball test for its batters in the post Quinton de Kock era. De Kock's exhilarating strokeplay at the top, allowed the Rassie van der Dussens, Heinrich Klaasens and David Millers to accelerate.

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But in slightly helpful bowling conditions, India's fringe pacers exposed their shortcomings and they will have to put up a way better show in the second game, which will be a day/night affair.

Not much change in bowling combination ========================= The bowling department will not need much tinkering after a near-perfect performance from Arshdeep and Avesh.

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Mukesh Kumar, whose 0/46 in 7 overs did stick out like a sore thumb, would want to present an improved version of his bowling as he either went too full or at times bowled too short during the opening game.

In case the team management wants to experiment, it can replace Mukesh with his Bengal teammate Akash Deep but that looks unlikely in the second game when the team is gunning for series glory.

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In the spin department, both Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, who have not been picked for Tests, wouldn't like to miss out on international matches and it is unlikely that they would volunteer to rest which would allow Rahul to give Yuzvendra Chahal a chance to play the only format he has been selected.

Squads: India: KL Rahul (captain and wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, B Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, Rajat Patidar, Sanju Samson, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Rinku Singh, Akash Deep, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar.

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South Africa: Aiden Markram (captain), Ottneil Bartman, Nandre Burger, Tony de Zorzi, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Mihlali Mpongwana, Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Rassie van der Dussen, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lizaad Williams, Kyle Verreynne.

Match Starts: 4:30 pm IST. 

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Published December 18th, 2023 at 15:27 IST

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