SA vs IND, 1st ODI, Review: Virat Kohli’s masterclass ends Durban jinx
Ajinkya Rahane also batted beautifully and played second fiddle to the skipper scoring 79 runs.
Published - Feb 2, 2018 12:15 am | Updated - Feb 2, 2018 12:16 am
India have ended the 17 ODIs winning streak of South Africa at home with yet another successful chase shepherded by their skipper Virat Kohli. Both the skippers put on a show of some exhilarating display of batting at Kingsmead as the spectators were treated with some serene hitting. Though the hosts had an upper hand going into the series and the visitors have announced themselves with a brilliant overall performance to go 1-0 up in the six-match series.
South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first on a wicket which looked very much flat. The visitors decided to play with both the wrist spinners they possessed in the squad which was a huge call. They also played Ajinkya Rahane at the much-debated position of number 4 and benched Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey. South Africa, on the other hand, included Aiden Markram in place of AB de Villiers who has been out of the three ODIs due to injury.
Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla opened the innings for the hosts as Indian opening bowlers denied giving them any freebies. The former in particular struggled to get going and ate up many deliveries. India draw the first blood as Amla was pinned in front by Jasprit Bumrah which brought the skipper Faf du Plessis to the crease. Both added 53 runs in no time after which the spinners took control of the game. De Kock was adjudged leg before off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 15th over. He didn’t bother to review the decision which would’ve turned over in his favour.
Faf masterclass on display
Soon after his wicket, the visitors looked to be controlling the game with the ball turning square. David Miller, JP Duminy and Aiden Markram followed their teammate soon as South Africa slumped to 134/5 in 28 overs. Chris Morris then supported his captain who was looking extremely comfortable in the middle. Both of them added 74 runs in quick time which brought the team back on track.
Just when they were threatening to take the game away from India, Kuldeep Yadav struck to castle Morris. Andile Phehlukwayo played second fiddle then to du Plessis who notched up an excellent 9th ODI century of his career. He batted beautifully when his allies struggled completely and was only dismissed in the last over for 120 off just 112 deliveries with 11 fours and a couple of maximums. Eventually, the Proteas posted a competitive total of 269 runs after 50 overs.
Kuldeep was the pick of the bowlers for the Men in Blue and finished with the magical figures of 3/34. While his partner Chahal ended with 2/45. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was a little bit expensive as du Plessis attacked him in the death overs.
Kohli and Rahane steer India home
India needed a good start from their opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan and they provided the same with some sensible batting against the new-ball bowlers. Both added 33 until the seventh over when the former top-edged a half-hearted pull shot after which Dhawan was run-out with a miscommunication with his skipper Virat Kohli. He was looking good in the middle on 35 and was livid over his captain after getting out.
But Kohli took the challenge upon himself and Ajinkya Rahane joined hands with him as both of them rebuilt the innings first. They didn’t take any risk whatsoever and rotated the strike easily on a surface which was a little bit on the slower side. They didn’t miss out on punishing the bad balls and pounced on it time and again with the home side getting frustrated with the fact that they weren’t able to pick the wickets.
Slowly but steadily they took India to a safe position after which both the cricketers opened their arms and started playing their shots. Especially Rahane’s straight drives were absolutely pleasing to the eyes. Kohli was as usual at his best not giving an inch to the opposition. In the process, he also notched up his 33rd ODI century as his celebrations after reaching the milestone said at all. It meant a lot to him as it was also his maiden ton in South Africa. Rahane too scored at a great pace and was dismissed on 79 after which the win was a mere formality.
Both of them stitched 189 runs for the third wicket which eventually killed the game as India gunned down the total with more than 4 overs to spare. The home side was clueless as they were manipulated nicely by the Indian middle-order. Morne Morkel and Andile Phehlukwayo were the only wicket-takers for them as the visitors went 1-0 up in the six-match series.
South Africa 269/8 after 50 overs (du Plessis 120; K Yadav 3/34, Y Chahal 2/45)
India 270/4 after 45.3 overs (V Kohli 112, A Rahane 79; A Phehlukwayo 2/42)
Result: India won by 6 wickets
Man of the Match: Virat Kohli