Paarl: South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first on Wednesday during the first ODI in Boland Park, Paarl. At the toss, KL Rahul straight away said that he too would have batted first had he won the toss. Confirming that Venkatesh Iyer would make his ODI debut, Rahul hoped that pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar would get swing early.

“Would’ve wanted to bat first. We’re always ready to do both things. Looks a little bit dry. Have some quality spinners in our attack. With Bumrah and Bhuvi starting, hopefully they’ll get a couple early with the swing. Venkatesh Iyer debuting, Shreyas Iyer to bat at four. Last couple of days and right after Tests there was a lot going on. Emotional for the team,” Rahul said at the toss.

While stating that the side would be keen on trying out a few new things, Rahul also said that Kohli would be an integral part of the side.

“Lot of us have debuted under Virat. Obviously he’s still with us and integral part of the team. Just want to try out few things in terms of tactics and strategies. Personnel will not change much. Want to give them a good run. Expermentation doesn’t mean we’ll go in and start hitting from ball one,” he added.

With the new leadership and support staff, India will look to win the series with one eye on preparations for the 2023 World Cup and also make up for the disappointment of unexpectedly going down in the Tests last week.