Port Elizabeth: South Africa and India will once again lock horn in the fifth ODI at St Georges Park in Port Elizabeth. South Africa come into the match after winning the last match at the Bull Ring in Johannesburg, giving them a major boost to win the next two matches and level the series. The return of AB de Villiers have also lifted the morale of the team
Virat Kohli's India, on the other hand, are on the brink of making history by winning their first bilateral series in South Africa. Having already secured 3-1 lead in the series, the Men In Blue are expected to go all out and seal the deal on a pitch which will be suit them the most.
The 5th ODI is crucial for both the teams and these factors will play important role in the outcome of the match
The weather condition is likely to be a major factor during the fifth ODI. The fourth ODI at Johannesburg saw match reduced to 28 overs after rain and lightning played spoilsport.
At Port Elizabeth, the rain is predicted during the morning, while the weather is expected to clear an hour before play is scheduled to start. The teams and spectators can expect full quota of 50 overs.
Toss to play crucial factor
The pitch St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth is known to help spinners, so the toss will play an important role in the match, With rains expected before the start of the match, the pitch is likely to have some moisture which will assist the seam bowlers in the early part of the game.
The spinners won't be disappointed either as the pitch could offer turn making it difficult for batsmen to play their free-flowing strokes.
South Africa expected to continue their form
After surrendering first three ODI to Virat Kohli and boys, the proteas bounced back with a victory in their last game at Johannesburg handing stand-in-skipper Aiden Markram his first win as captain in international matches.
The arrival of star player AB de Villers certainly boosted the South African team, who took the game to the opposition. DeVilliers will play an important role in this match as his batting skills will be crucial to counter Indian spinners.
As the track is expected to turn, Imran Tahir will have a big role to play and stop Indian batsmen from scoring runs.
Rohit Sharma and middle order need to fire
Rohit Sharma form will be a major worry as is yet to hit his groove. The opening batsman has so far scored 40 runs in 4 innings.
On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan scored a century in the last match. Virat Kohli has been among runs throughout the ODI series.
The middle order hasn’t been tested much except for the last ODI. MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya will need to start scoring runs. With Kedar Jadhav’s fitness still a concern, Shreyas Iyer might get another look in and the youngster will look to make the most of the opportunity.
Indian spinners will be expected to play major role
After failing to pick up wickets during 4th ODI, Indian spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will look to bounce back. With the pitch expected to offer turn, Indian spinners will look to relish the opportunity and get back to form.
Record at St. George's Park
South Africa have lost only 10 matches of the 32 matches played at this ground, while India has lost all their five ODIs at this venue- four against South Africa and one against Kenya. Virat Kohli and Boys will look to stop their losing streak.