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India versus South Africa 1st ODI today : 'No use of saliva to shine ball'

India versus South Africa 1st ODI today : No use of saliva to shine ball
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The Indian team might avoid using saliva to shine the ball if advised by doctors to combat the novel coronavirus threat, seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said on Wednesday even as the South African team insisted on continuing the practice in the first ODI here.

Dharamsala : The Indian team might avoid using saliva to shine the ball if advised by doctors to combat the novel coronavirus threat, seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said on Wednesday even as the South African team insisted on continuing the practice in the first ODI here.

Bhuvneshwar, however, said a decision on this will be taken by the team doctor during a meeting later on Wednesday.

However, South Africa skipper skipper Quinton de Kock said the visitors will continue with it as they are not affected by the virus. "We understand the corona thing but it doesn't change. Hygiene is a big thing.

Washing hands, the way you cough or sneeze. It's about making sure how you personally maintain hygiene and if you do so you will be alright. Be aware of what you touch, just be careful," de Kock said.

"There are some fine lines but I think both the teams are healthy. We have been tested on our way to India so I think we will still shine the ball.

Our team doctor and management have made sure that we all are fit and don't have coronavirus so we will keep the ball shinning," he added.

"You cannot say anything right now because it's taking a dangerous situation in India. But we are taking every precaution we can take.

We have a team doctor with us and he is giving us instructions about dos and don'ts. So we hope it won't go (spread) much further," he said.

Just like other teams, the Indian players have also been advised to stay away from fans. "But we cannot avoid fans because they love us, they support us. In the meantime, we can try and not to get too close to them. We can avoid as much as we can," he said.

Hardik Pandya's eagerly-awaited international comeback adds a lot of context to India's three-match ODI campaign where the hosts would be aiming to put the 'New Zealand Nightmare' behind them.

Pandya's all-round flamboyance will keep skipper Virat Kohli in a good headspace as he would be desperately trying to forget the 0-3 mauling in the last series in New Zealand.

Pandya last played an ODI against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final in Manchester and his last international game was a T20 against the Proteas in Bengaluru in September last year.

He forced his way back into the national team with his all-round performances at the DY Patil Corporate Cup, where he looked completely fit and ready to go.

The presence of Pandya along with a fit-again senior opener Shikhar Dhawan (shoulder dislocation) and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (sports hernia surgery) makes India favourite on paper against a South African side that comprises of seasoned campaigners like Quinton d Kock, Faf du Plessis and David Miller in their ranks.

The three players automatically pick themselves in the playing XI while Manish Pandey might just get a longer run at No 6 now that Kedar Jadhav has finally been dropped from the squad.

In the absence of Rohit Sharma, who is yet to recover from a calf injury, Dhawan's return would lend valuable experience to the Indian top-order, which badly missed both the openers in New Zealand Dhawan had dislocated his shoulder during the final ODI against Australia at home and missed the New Zealand series.

The second match of the series will be played in Lucknow on March 15 and Kolkata on March 18.

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