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India eye milestone win, South Africa hope for revival

Press Trust of India  |  Johannesburg 

India's indomitable team looks set for a landmark series but an injury- ravaged would hope for some A B magic to halt the visitors' charge in the fourth one-dayer, here tomorrow. With an unassailable 3-0 lead in hand, need just one more win to claim their maiden ODI series on the South African soil. The closest they came was in 2010-11, when under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, they shot into a 2-1 lead only to lose the five- match series 3-2. had previously broken into unchartered territory at Newlands when, for the first time since they began touring here in 1992-93, they won three matches in a bilateral ODI engagement in A fourth consecutive win will also cement their spot as the no.1 side in ICC ODI Rankings. Before the third ODI, Shikhar Dhawan had highlighted that the team wants to win every game ahead of them, building on victory in the third Test here, and there would be no complacency in the dressing room. Indeed then, Virat Kohli lifted his side to another dominant win with an immaculate 34th ODI century and later spoke of replicating the same intensity to wrap up the series with two matches remaining. The fact that Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have now accounted for 21 out of 30 available wickets is also a driving force behind this confidence. Despite practicing with at least five different local wrist spinners at Newlands, the Proteas' batting line-up still couldn't contend with India's first-choice spin duo. Whether this will change on Saturday remains to be seen. may have slight cause for optimism as was, on Thursday, added to their ODI squad for the remainder three matches. batsman was ruled out of the first three ODIs owing to a he had sustained during the third Test. However, the hosts are still circumspect about his chances of playing and as such didn't send out any ahead of this game. will be assessed today afternoon -- 24 hours before the game -- and a call will then be made on his availability for the match. If he is fit and available, it is expected that de will bat at no.3 with JP Duminy dropping down to no.4 thus. One of or Khaya Zondo will make way for him in the playing eleven. Unsurprisingly, despite the downturn, Aiden Markram will continue leading the side. This match is of vital importance for in their home season. It is the 'Pink ODI', played for the awareness against and for the benefit of those suffering from the It was first held in 2011, and this will be the sixth such occasion. In fact, the Proteas have never lost when playing in their unique pink jersey. has a handsome record on Pink Days.

In 2015, he had smashed 149 off just 44 balls against the In 2013, when were first part of this Pink Day celebration, had scored 77 off 47 balls. had amassed 358/4 on a Wanderers' wicket full of pace and bounce, and had lost by 141 runs. That day had struggled against the likes of and Morne Morkel, scoring just 18 off 43 balls. The opener's travails have extended to this tour as well. In 11 ODIs now in South Africa, the three-time double centurion averages a paltry 12.10. His form is the only pressing concern for the Indian team, yet not so much that he will be left out of the playing eleven. With the Men in Blue looking to wrap up the series, Kohli is expected to field an unchanged line-up once again. have an average record at this ground. In seven ODIs here, they have won thee and lost four, including the infamous final against Also, as opposed to their unbeaten Test record against here, have lost 3 out of 4 ODIs they have played against the hosts at Wanderers. Their only cause for cheer against the Proteas here came in January 2011, when Munaf Patel took 4-29 to lead to a thrilling one-run win. Thanks to Kohli's imperious consistency and the terrorising form of their wrist spinners, that lopsided record might just be about to change. Teams (from): India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur. South Africa: Aiden Markram (capt), Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Lungisani Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Khayelihle Zondo, Farhaan Behardien, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), AB Match starts at: 4:30pm IST.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 12:00 IST