After long debate on World Cup selection between all the TV channels, selectors and citizens, finally 15 men selected to represent the country in what we call Olympics of Cricket. I believe now we have to stop debating on the team selected and start supporting the men who are selected to do the job and hope that these men will bring glory and happiness for us.
Now its time to focus on the ongoing series between India and South Africa. Series is levelled after India's victory in Johannesburg and what a cracker of the game that was. India clinched cliffhanger by holding the nerves and once again Proteas proved chokers. Now focus is on 3rd ODI in Capetown. It is crucial game for both the teams in terms of series win. Both the teams will be keen to win this encounter and whoever emerged as winner will be having clear advantage of winning the series because winning team have to win just one match out of the remaining two and losing team have to win both the matches to win the series.
If we talk about Team India then I must say their confidence will be sky high after that last victory but with this confidence they are also facing lot of problems in terms of injury to the key players. Sehwag, Gambhir and Praveen Kumar were already out before the series commencement. Team India also got big shock in last ODI as Sachin Tendulkar also got injured and ruled out of the series. So problems are plenty for MS Dhoni and this reduces the chances of Team India to win today's ODI. M.Vijay, the another opener who is in team is not in good form and his hghest score in International ODIs is just 33 with paltry career average of 19. Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma are also struggling with their form. Ashish Nehra is struggling with line and length. In first 2 ODIs Yusuf Pathan was not included but he will certainly play in today's game. I feel Dhoni have to drop Vijay and pick Parthiv Patel to open the batting. Parthiv being a left hander and Kohli being a right hander will also create problems for the opposition bowlers in terms of adjusting their line and length to the left -right combination. Also not to forget that Team India failed to play out their entire 50 overs in both the matches and that is also an area of concern for the team's think tank
Now talking about Proteas I believe they have settled opening pair in Smith and Amla. Both Amla and Smith have 50 + scores under their belt in the series and both are in good form. Smith almost won the last match for Proteas as he played superb knock of 77 but dismissed by Munaf Patel at crucial time. However middle-order of Proteas is a big concern because Kallis is injured and both Ingram and Miller failed to create any impact in the series so far. DeVilliers is in good form and that is positive sign for Proteas. I believe Ingram and Miller are definitely looking to cement their place in the side by putting good effort in today's match because this is a golden opportunity for them. In terms of bowling and fielding, Proteas are far superior and stronger than Team India. Trio of Steyn, Morkel and Tsotsobe are in good form and also created lot of impact in both the matches by not allowing Team India to play out their entire 50 overs. Off-spinner Botha also supported this trio by holding one end and bowled tightly in the series. Parnell I feel is the only bowler who did not live upto the expectations so far but he has done reasonably well.
Overall, I believe Proteas hold better chance to win today's game and also the series because Team India have the confidence but don't have enough resources to back their high confidence. This series is also very important in terms of gaining confidence for next month's mega-event ICC Cricket World Cup. Whichever team wins here will go into ICC Cricket World Cup with great momentum and confidence under their belt.