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India vs South Africa 2021-22, 1st ODI: Proteas opt to bat; Venkatesh Iyer debuts for Men in Blue

India and South Africa play in the opening ODI on Wednesday. The Proteas have won the toss and opted to bat. Venkatesh Iyer makes his ODI debut for the Men in Blue.

India vs South Africa, IND vs SA 2021-22, 1st ODI: Proteas opt to bat; Venkatesh Iyer debuts for Men in Blue-ayh
Paarl, First Published Jan 19, 2022, 1:51 PM IST

After a gruelling three-Test series, India and South Africa are engaged in the first of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday. The hosts have won the toss and have opted to bat first. Meanwhile, all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer will be debuting for the visitors.

During the toss, South African skipper Temba Bavuma reckoned, "Wicket looks a bit dry. We want to make use of the best batting conditions. Hopefully, it slows up, and the slower bowlers can get in the game. Hard to get away from the high of the Tests. But, we will have to focus on today. Different format, and ensure our basics are in touch. Opportunity for us as a one-day team to get our game in order. We have got a standard group. Marco comes in; obviously, we don't have KG [Kagiso Rabada] available. Two spinners."

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On the other hand, Indian captain KL Rahul assessed that he would have liked to bat first but is ready to do both things. Although the pitch looks dry, he backed his spinners to come in handy, besides keeping his faith on pacer Jasprit Bumrah and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He affirmed that Shreyas Iyer would be batting at number four.

"Last couple of days and right after Tests, a lot was going on. Emotional for the team. A lot of us have debuted under Virat [Kohli]. Obviously, he's still with us and an integral part of the team. We want to try out a few things in terms of tactics and strategies. Personnel will not change much. I want to give them a good run. Experimentation doesn't mean we'll go in and start hitting from ball one," Rahul concluded.

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Playing XI
KL Rahul (c & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal.
SA: Quinton de Kock (wk), Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma (c), David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi and Lungi Ngidi.

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