Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

India tour of South Africa 2013: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli could prove formidable at the top of the order

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli… the dangermen for the South Africa bowling attack.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli… the dangermen for the South Africa bowling attack © IANS and PTI


South Africa may be tipped as the favourites, but India’s strength cannot be ignored for the One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Nishad Pai Vaidya looks at the factors that may favour India on their tour to South Africa.


As Indian cricket made rapid strides with a young setup through 2013, there was a lot of talk about their impending acid test in South Africa. With the veterans gone and a young side eyeing a smooth transition, many feel that the Proteas would pose a serious threat to India. However, there is an air of confidence about this Indian side and the three match One-Day International (ODI) series may not be dominated by the hosts — as many expect. This Indian side has the goods to fight the Proteas in their own den and perhaps emerge victorious — after all the hosts are coming off a defeat to Pakistan in their familiar home conditions. That series proved that South Africa aren’t as invincible they are perceived to be. A Pakistan side that mainly relies on its bowling sealed the series by winning the first two matches. In the second ODI, South Africa were coasting to a victory when they simply wilted under pressure at the death. Two of their batsmen  got important fifties — one of them even going into the 90s — and one of their bowlers took  a six-for, yet they lost. And that too against a side low in condience.


Pakistan’s victory does help the Indian cause — psychologically more than anything. South Africa would be under pressure at the start of a new home series as India is a much stronger one-day outfit when compared to Pakistan. India’s bowling may not be as strong as that of Pakistan, but India are a more balanced side. This certainly gives Indians the necessary belief that they can trump South Africa in the opposition’s backyard.


Another highlight of  Pakistan’s victory was  that South Africa still have the tendency to “choke” under pressure. While it may not be as bad as it is during World Tournaments, there would always be that lingering thought at the back of the mind if they are put in a spot during tough games. The run-chase was theirs to lose during the second ODI, and with the game in their hands, it was quite shocking that they couldn’t finish it. A similar result was seen during India’s previous tour when they defended a total of 190 at Johannesburg. South Africa collapsed at the death and lost by a solitary run.


If South Africa are  chasing, India have to create the pressure in the middle overs so that the task gets tough at the end for the home side. However, India’s death bowling hasn’t inspired much and they will  have to rise to the occasion to put more pressure on the opponents. Indeed, adapting to conditions will be an important factor for the – Indian batsmen in South Africa. Earlier this year, they performed quite well in England during the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 and then during the tri-series in the Caribbean. The South African conditions would offer more bounce and can test some of them. However, most of the frontline Indian batsmen have been to South Africa this year on the ‘A’ tour and that would have given them enough exposure to the conditions.  Indian batting mainstays Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina — three out of the top six — had toured South Africa with India A earlier this year.




For the openers in particular, the ‘A’ tour would have been a pivotal experience. Rohit and Dhawan are going to face the new ball and things would be more testing early on. India have two men who have prepared for this very test and would be ready to take it on upfront.  They have faced the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well, which certainly rules out the  psychological barriers. In fact, Steyn was Dhawan’s teammate at the Sunrisers Hyderabad.


The new generation is fearless and in good form. Dhawan, Rohit and Virat Kohli back themselves to come good in any situation and given their current form, they are poised to do well in South Africa if they adjust well. Dhawan and Rohit have established themselves at the top and have formulated a good strategy whereby the latter waits and the former attacks. This tactic worked well in England and may come good in South Africa too. Rohit has the ability to make up for lost time later and there are no problems if he takes a bit of time early on.


Kohli is India’s prime batsman and has scored runs in different conditions. He is combative and can anchor the toughest run-chases with ease. The last time India toured South Africa, he came in as a youngster and impressed with an innings under pressure in one of the games. This time, his role is more profound and he is the rock in this line-up.


While one may tip the balance in favour of South Africa for the ODI series, India’s strength cannot be ignored. This is going to be a good contest and perhaps, it may boil down to the one who holds their nerve. Confidence is the key for India.


India tour of South Africa 2013-14: Live Streaming


South Africa vs India — Live on Ten Cricket


(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)


Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 27, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Sharjah


Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014  at Sharjah

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 2 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014  at Dubai

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts


CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi


IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Sachin Tendulkar — the greatest batsman of India

Sachin Tendulkar: A timeless fairytale

Sachin Tendulkar: The child, the father, but sexy? Not quite

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders MS Dhoni Rajasthan Royals RCB vs KKR RCB vs KKR 2014 Royal Challengers Bangalore Sunrisers Hyderabad

Moin Khan hints at change of captain for Pakistan’s ODI side

Chris Lynn helps Kolkata Knight Riders escape with stunning 2-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 11 of IPL 2014

PCB change Muhammad Akram’s role from bowling coach to national selector

RCB need 18 off the last 2 overs against KKR

RCB lose Virat Kohli bust stay in control against KKR

Sachin Tendulkar given out off a wrong replay on his birthday in IPL 2011

Happy birthday! A bouquet of CricketCountry’s best Sachin Tendulkar features

Sachin Tendulkar – The century of centuries in tweets

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

New Indian-South Africa `academic bridge` launched

Are Himesh Reshammiya and Yo Yo Honey Singh overconfident about The Xpose?

Are electronic cigarettes actually safe for you?

Russia starts border army drill after Ukraine attacks rebels

Xbox users are spending 5 hours a day on the console!

7 health benefits of eucalyptus oil

IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Match 11 at Sharjah

Vic Gundotra, Google+ head leaves company

Also on