1-1 and it all comes down to this. India and South Africa lock horns with each other in the series decider at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Tuesday, and it is a contest of great significance for both sides for different reasons. The encounter is undoubtedly more important for the Proteas, who are in desperate need of Super League points to keep their 2023 World Cup direct qualification hopes alive.
They’ll already look at the defeat in the second ODI as ten points lost, so the visitors will be dying to walk away with a ‘W’ - and subsequently 10 points - at all costs.
India have no points to play for, but the contest is still significant for the hosts, for getting one over a full-strength South African side would be some statement. It’ll be a massive feather in the cap of the Shikhar Dhawan-led second string side.
Delhi is all set to witness a mouth-watering contest.
Only a solitary ODI has been played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi since 2016, so there really isn’t any point in looking at the numbers from that particular contest. However, five List A matches have been played at the venue since 2021, so instead it’ll be more relevant to look at numbers from those encounters.
What do the numbers tell us? They tell us that we should be getting a high(ish) scoring contest, similar to the one in Ranchi on Sunday.
272 is the average first-batting score in Delhi in List A matches since 2021, with the highest total being 312/4, posted by Uttar Pradesh in the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy final. Notably, four of the last five List A matches at the venue have seen the team batting first post a total in excess of 280 (312, 184, 280, 299 and 287).
Of the five aforementioned games, three were won by the side chasing. This includes the 2021 VHT final, where Mumbai successfully chased down 313.
There’s not too much to read on the bowling front, except for the fact that, interestingly, both pacers and spinners maintained the same ER (5.3) across the last five List A matches at the venue.
All things considered, we should be getting a good cricketing wicket for the decider.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Shreyas Iyer ©, Shubman Gill (vc)
For grand leagues: Shreyas Iyer ©, Heinrich Klaasen (vc)
Stats that matter
* Across his last six ODI innings, Shreyas Iyer has scored four fifties and an unbeaten hundred. His record in this period reads 6 innings, 404 runs, average 80.80, strike rate 95.96. He’ll enter the series decider on the back of a 113* in the second ODI.
* Sanju Samson has an equally formidable record in ODIs this year. His last six scores in the format read 30*, 86*, 15, 43*, 6* and 54. He is yet to be dismissed by the South African bowlers this series.
* Heinrich Klaasen’s average of 53.50 vs India is the second-highest for him against a particular country. With 104 runs, he is the second-highest run-getter for South Africa so far this series.
* Across his last six ODIs, Mohammed Siraj has maintained an economy of over 5.00 just once. In this period, he’s also taken 7 wickets, taking at least one wicket in four of the six matches.
* Janneman Malan averages just 20.56 across his last 9 ODIs. This is a significant drop from his numbers in the first 12 ODIs he played, where he averaged 75.8.
Grand League punts
* Make Shreyas Iyer your captain at all costs. In the form he is in, it would be criminal to think of betting against him. He WILL fetch you points. A ton of them.
* Shubman Gill has had a poor series thus far, but he’s someone who is worth taking a punt on. Mind you, it was only two innings ago that he struck his maiden century in ODI cricket.
* Ishan Kishan’s x-factor, and the form he showed in the second ODI in Ranchi, makes him an enticing pick. Given the potential presence of two left-arm spinners in the Proteas XI (Maharaj and Fortuin), it’ll make total sense to have Kishan in your fantasy XI.
India: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson (wk), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan
South Africa: Janneman Malan, Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma / Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj (c), Bjorn Fortuin, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi / Anrich Nortje