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SA v IND, 2nd ODI: India win toss and elect to bat first

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Paarl, Jan 21 (IANS) India captain KL Rahul has won the toss and elected to bat first against South Africa in the second ODI at Boland Park here on Friday. The pitch for the second ODI is the same one which was used in the first ODI on Wednesday, where India lost by 31 runs.

After winning the toss, Rahul said the playing eleven is unchanged from the first ODI. “Pretty straight forward decision to bat first. Second time on the same strip. We are guessing and hoping that the wicket will stay low.”

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Rahul hoped India will improve on the mistakes made in the first ODI. “We didn’t do too wrong but the middle overs were the difference. With the ball, we couldn’t get wickets and with the bat we couldn’t get partnerships after Virat and Shikhar gave us a good chance.

“Everyone knows that we need to get the partnerships to win matches. We did speak about it, and the batters realised where we went wrong. Nobody wants to do it on purpose, everyone tried really hard. It was disappointing but we hope we can change the narrative today.”

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South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma said pacer Sisanda Magala comes in for young all-rounder Marco Jansen in the playing eleven as part of workload management. “We probably would have wanted to bat first. Like KL said it’s quite straightforward. Saying that, I think there will be an opportunity where in the first hour with the ball nipping a bit.”

Bavuma stressed upon making small improvements to seal the series in their favour today. “We got ourselves in a bit of a pickle losing wickets up front but the big partnership between Rassie and I got us going. Bowling was 80-85% on. We want to get even better from the last game, try to improve those five percenters. We’d like to seal the series now, but in saying that we’re going to have to do the basics well.”

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Playing XIs

India: KL Rahul (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Janneman Malan, Temba Bavuma (captain), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi and Tabraiz Shamsi.

–IANS

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