Team India will look to leave behind their debacle against New Zealand when they begin their campaign against South Africa for the three-match One-day Internationals starting from March 12. Skipper Virat Kohli, who had a horrible outing in the land of Kiwis will be keen to get back to scoring ways and lead his team from the front.
India will welcome the return of swashbuckling all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been out of action since September 2019. Pandya had some serious belting in the DY Patil Cup with two quickfire centuries before his return to the national side. Experienced campaigner Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also return to the fray. However, the host will continue to miss the service of Rohit Sharma owing to an injury he sustained during the T20Is against New Zealand.
However, all eyes will be on Virat Kohli, who endured a forgettable tour against the Black Caps. The talismanic run-scorer could manage only one half-century from the 11 innings he has batted across the formats. This is arguably his worst series since making his international debut and Kohli will be desperate to bounce back into the scheme of things.
Meanwhile, the cricketer from Delhi is in line to join another elite list in world cricket which will make him only the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to feature in the impressive list. Virat Kohli is currently 133 runs away from completing 12,000 runs in ODIs – a feat achieved by five other cricketers including India legend Sachin Tendulkar. Notably, he will also be the fastest as every other batsman has taken more than 300 innings to achieve this feat while Kohli has played only 239 innings.
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The India skipper will look to silence his critics and enter the elite list during the first ODI in Dharamsala on March 12. On the other hand, Lucknow and Kolkata will host the other two ODIs of the series on March 15 and 18.