India eyeing first series victory in South Africa in 5th odi
Port Elizabeth, 12 Feb (CRICKETNMORE): Failing to maintain their triumphant run after a defeat in the fourth One-Day International (ODI), India will aim to clinch their maiden bilateral 50-overs series against the Proteas in South African conditions in the fifth encounter here on Tuesday.
India started on the front foot clinching the first three matches by a comprehensive margins. South Africa, however, bolstered by their victory in the last tie will have an opportunity to end the six-match series on an even note.
The recent history which has seen India losing against the Proteas in the 50-over format at the South African conditions could change under the flamboyant captaincy of Virat Kohli.
In 2013-14, India were outclassed by South Africa 0-2 while in 2010-11 the visitors gave a tough fight but failed to get hold of the series, losing it by a slender 2-3 margin.
Kohli, with 393 runs in the ODI series so far, which contains two centuries and identical numbers of unbeaten knocks, has led India from the front to heap trouble on the already depleted hosts.
Alongside the skipper, opener Shikhar Dhawan has looked in fine nick throughout the series and will be the key to give India a dominant total on board in the encounter on Tuesday.
There is also a strong possibility of Kohli dropping opener Rohit Sharma, who has failed to get going in the series, scoring merely 40 runs in the four matches.
The skipper in that case, might fall in the trouble of selecting from plenty amongst Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey or Kedar Jadhav.