The India-South Africa ODI series has entertained viewers all around the world with players from both sides coming up with some sensational performances to make the fifth ODI at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Sunday as the series decider. India, after winning the fourth ODI in Chennai, levelled the series at 2-2, hence the home side will go into the fifth ODI with their tails up.
South Africa, who won the T20 series earlier, will have their eyes on the ODIs as well after having won the first and third match of the fifty over game. India have also played good cricket in the series and the two ODIs they lost as well, the men in blue could have won the match, but the Proteas came back strongly.
India, to a certain extent, will depend on the services of Virat Kohli, who was phenomenal in the fourth ODI, where he came up with a brilliant century to help his team emerge victorious. Kohli, who came into bat at number three in the first two ODIs, was not successful and was pushed up the order at number three in the last two ODIs.
This strategy seems to have worked for Kohli as the batsman has scored 77 and 138 runs in his last two ODIs. Kohli feels if he comes to bat at number three he gets a chance to control the game.
"If I get in early and bat at no. 3 I have all the option to analyse what's going on in the game, choose bowlers to hit boundaries at different times. I am confident I can control the game better. The whole idea is to give more stability in my mind and look to bat through," said Kohli.
The fifth match, which will decided the ODI series winner as well, will test the physical and the mental state of the players from both the sides. They will be under pressure to deliver and help their team cross the finishing line.
After playing in some challenging conditions, including the energy sapping game in Chennai, Kohli believes heat will pose as a serious challenge to both the teams.
"As far as I am concerned it's going to be the heat. We had played at Rajkot, Chennai and now (are to play) in Mumbai and things are not getting better. It's challenging for both sides," said Kohli.
"It has been a packed series. It's very hectic for guys to play, get to another location, practice and play again. The challenge will be physical as well is mental – it's a big game and it will play on everyone's head. And physical challenge is a major factor."
Apart from Virat Kohli, India need other batsmen, such as Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina to fire as well. Dhawan's form has been a major cause of concern at the top of the order, but Kohli backs the left-hander to perform.
"He's very confident of his ability and is someone who, when he gets going, can take the game away from opposition. That's why we show so much faith in his ability. He has that different sort of a mentality; when he gets going he keeps attacking, which is a rare quality," added Kohli.
South Africa players have been in good form with the bat and ball in the series. Most of their batsmen have scored runs and bowlers have taken wickets, however, captain AB de Villiers will ask a final push from his players in the fifth ODI in Mumbai.
However, things do not look too good for South Africa, who could miss the services of the Morne Morkel as he is recovering from a quad strain. Morkel has been one of the best bowlers in the ODI series for South AFrica.
Will they risk him even if he is half-fit?
Even if Morkel does not feature, they are going to depend on Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir in the bowling line up. The trio are going to be the key in Mumbai as they will not only be asked to stop the batsmen from scoring, but also take crucial wickets.
As far as the batsmen goes, de Villiers, without a shadow of doubt, remains to be the visitors key batsman as he can change the course of the game in a matter of overs. David Miller, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis also have to be on top of their game if they are to clinch the fifth and thus the series as well.
Where to watch live
India vs South Africa 5th ODI match has been scheduled for 1:30 pm local time (10 am SAST, 9 am BST, 4 am ET) start. The highly anticipated India vs South Africa 5th ODI match can be followed live in India on Star Sports 1/HD and Star Sports 3/HD with the added option of watching it online on Starsports.com and hostar.com
Viewers in South Africa can catch the India vs South Africa 5th ODI live on SuperSport or can watch it online on SuperSport Live.
UK viewers can watch India vs South Africa 5th ODI live on Sky Sports and live streaming will be made available on Sky Go . Viewers in the US can follow the India vs South Africa 5th ODI live on Willow TV; live streaming is available on Willow TV online.
Viewers in Australia will be able to catch India vs South Africa 5th ODI live on Fox Sports. The live stream option is available on Foxtel.
Viewers in the Middle East can watch the India vs South Africa 5th ODI live on Orbit Show Network or via live stream on OSN Play.