New Delhi: Former India captain Wasim Jaffer picked India’s playing XI for the first ODI against South Africa to be played at the Boland Park in Paarl on January 19. Jaffer picked Shikhar Dhawan ahead of Ruturaj Gaikwad to open the batting for India along with KL Rahul while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was also in the mix of things as the second spinner with Yuzvendra Chahal.

KL Rahul is all set to make his debut as the white-ball captain of India in absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma while Virat Kohli will be back in the ODI set-up and is expected to play in his usual position of No. 3 after taking a break for the New Zealand series.

Jaffer also preferred to go with Shreyas Iyer in the middle-order with Rishabh Pant behind the stumps while Venkatesh Iyer and Ishan Kishan missed out on a spot in his predicted XI for Wednesday’s match. The former India opener feels that it will be a toss-up between Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Siraj as Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur pretty much pick themselves in the team.

The team has five bowling options in the form of Thakur, Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar/Siraj, Chahal and Bumrah. The team still looks a bowler short and if any one of them has an off day, India will struggle to stop the flow of runs with not many part-time bowling options.

Wasim Jaffer’s Predicted XI:

1. KL (C)

2. Shikhar

3. Virat

4. S Iyer

5. Pant (WK)

6. Surya

7. Shardul

8. Ashwin

9. Bhuvi / Siraj

10. Chahal

11. Bumrah