Virat Kohli's chance to test India's bench strength and other talking points ahead of the final ODI against South Africa

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Virat Kohli has the chance to give fringe players a chance on Friday.

Despite India having captured its maiden ODI series triumph in South Africa, there will still be a lot to play for when the two sides meet for the final tie at Centurion on Friday.

Virat Kohli’s men lead the series 4-1 after some excellent contributions from the skipper himself along with the wrist-spinners who have been on fire throughout.

Here, we look at the key talking points ahead of Friday’s clash.

REST ON THE CARDS FOR INDIA’S PACERS

Having sealed the series already, Centurion will provide an opportunity for Kohli to rest India’s pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar after a long and taxing tour.

Both have been playing a lot of cricket, especially the former who has played every match on tour so far. As for the latter, he seems to be operating on fumes judging by his performances in the ODI series so far where he has only picked up two wickets.

The likes of Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur have been sitting on the sidelines throughout and could do with a game.

Bhuvneshwar looks in need of a rest.

Bhuvneshwar looks in need of a rest.

INDIA’S CHANCE TO TEST BENCH STRENGTH

While the pacers could well do with a rest, so could the skipper himself. Tuesday’s dead rubber could be the perfect occasion for India to test its middle-order batsmen. With the constant shuffling around of Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane and now Shreyas Iyer, the visitors could be tempted to give the fringe batsmen a go in preparation for the ICC World Cup 2019.

If Kohli is indeed rested, one option could be to promote MS Dhoni to number four with the veteran wicketkeeper batsman struggling to up the tempo in the death overs.

Manish Pandey could do with a chance to bat.

Manish Pandey could do with a chance to bat.

PROTEAS BID TO SALVAGE SOME PRIDE

It has been a tough start to life as South Africa skipper for young Aiden Markram. Coming into the series just two ODIs old, the opening batsman has had to deal with injuries to stalwarts like AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock.

This is the first time they have not managed to win a bilateral series at home since Australia beat them 4-1 in 2014-15. With the Proteas’ proud record of 17 straight one-day home wins coming to an end in the form of an ignominious series defeat, Friday will be the chance to end on a high.

Its the last chance for the hosts to salvage some pride.

Its the last chance for the hosts to salvage some pride.

RECORD-BREAKING INDIANS AIM TO PUT ICING ON CAKE

The win over South Africa represents the ninth straight bilateral series win for the Men in Blue, second only to West Indies who won 14 in a row between 1980 and 1988. No matter what the outcome on Friday, India will end the series as the new No1 ranked side in ODI cricket, a mantle they already hold in the Test department.

However, the visitors would not want to relent in the final ODI and a 5-1 win would be the icing on the cake after a fantastic series.

India will want to carry the momentum into the T20I series to come.

India will want to carry the momentum into the T20I series to come.

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