South Africa vs India: Kohli & Boys on the Brink of History in 4th ODI
New Delhi: Virat Kohli and his troops are on the cusp of history when they lock horns against South Africa in the fourth ODI of the six-match series at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday.
If the visitors manage to come out victorious in the fourth match, it will be the first time that India will beat Proteas in an ODI series in South Africa in the history of the game. The closest they came was in 2010-11, when under former skipper MS Dhoni, they took a 2-1 lead only to lose the five-match series 3-2.
So far, the 'Men in Blue' have been in imperious form in this series, enroute taking an unassailable 3-0 lead. The entire Indian line-up is firing on all cylinders and they have dismantled the hosts by big margins of 6 wickets, 9 wickets and 123 runs in the first three ODIs respectively.
Also, if India manage to win this match, they will become the only second nation after Australia to win a series of five or more matches in the 'Rainbow Nation'. In 1997, Australia edged South Africa when they won the series by 3-4 and thrashed them again in 2002 when they won five out of the seven matches and lost only once (one match was abandoned).
Moreover, a fourth consecutive win will also cement India's spot as the no.1 side in ICC ODI Rankings and that will be an added incentive for the visitors to perform at their optimum levels in this contest.
However, it's easier said than done for Team India as they haven't had a good time playing against the Proteas at this venue. India have lost to South Africa thrice in four matches in Johannesburg, with their only victory coming in a dramatic 1-run win over the hosts in 2011.
And to add to that, South Africa boasts of an impeccable record at Wanderers as they have won each of their last six ODIs at this venue.
The last 6 games and their results -
*Won by 7 wickets v SL, Feb 2017
*Won by 142 runs v AUS, Oct 2016
*Won by 1 wicket v ENG, Feb 2016
*Won by 148 runs v WI, Jan 2015
*Won by 141 runs v IND, Dec 2013
*Won by 34 runs v PAK, Mar 2013
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur.
South Africa: Aiden Markram (capt), Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Lungisani Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Khayelihle Zondo, Farhaan Behardien, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), AB de Villiers.
Match starts at: 4:30pm IST.