• South Africa vs India, 4th ODI- 5 Talking Points

    The Proteas were tight with the ball and big hitting in the crucial phases of the match to bag the game.

    South African batsman David Miller
    South African batsman David Miller. (Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

    The first three games of the ODI series between India and South Africa were one-sided affairs. While India needed a victory to close out the series, South Africa hoped to open their account with the special contest. After India won the toss and elected to bat first, Virat Kohli’s boys racked up 289 for the loss of seven wickets in 50 overs.

    However, lighting and rain halted proceedings a couple of times following which South Africa were set a target of 202 runs off 28 overs. They stuttered initially, but some lusty hitting by the middle order helped their team coast to a comfortable victory by five wickets in the truncated game. There were several intriguing moments throughout the game. In our article, we take a look at five of them

    #1 Rohit Sharma’s horrendous form continues

    Sharma hasn’t been in the greatest of nicks with the willow in the ongoing tour. He has been jittery at the top of the order and hasn’t yet come to terms with the playing conditions and the South African bowling attack. After disappointing performances in the opening three games, he perished for yet another low score.

    The pitch at the Wanderers has traditionally favoured the batsmen. However, the Mumbai batsman perished to Kagiso Rabada in the fourth over. He tentatively fended at an incoming delivery and lobbed the ball back to Rabada who took a sharp catch in his follow-through.

    #2 Shikhar Dhawan’s memorable 100th game

    Dhawan has been in prime form and has taken India off to healthy starts in the ongoing series. After a couple of impressive half-centuries in Centurion and Cape Town, the Delhi-born cricketer slammed his way to his thirteenth ton in One Day Internationals. Subsequently, he also became the first Indian batsman to score a century in his 100th international game.

    The opener looked in ominous touch from the outset and dictated terms to the Proteas attack throughout his stint at the wicket. He blended caution with aggression and stitched together a handy second-wicket partnership of 158 runs with Kohli, the Indian skipper and built the platform for a blistering finish.

    #3 South Africa’s impressive death bowling

    Kohli and Dhawan’s partnership threatened to take the game away from the Proteas. However, South Africa bowled brilliantly and put a lid on the Indian batsmen in the death overs. After Dhawan’s dismissal in the 36th over, India could only manage 83 runs off 87 balls. Mahendra Singh Dhoni attempted hard to get the scoreboard moving.

    However, even he couldn’t get going and could only muster 42 runs off 43 balls. In the last ten overs, India garnered 59 runs for the loss of three wickets. The likes of Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris and Lungi Ngidi bowled impeccably and restricted the Indians from going for extravagant shots.

    #4 Pandya’s vital scalp of de Villiers

    AB de Villiers made his comeback to the South Africa team after an injury layoff and quite expectantly, his return boosted their batting lineup. Having scored the fastest ODI century against the Windies, his love for the pink Proteas jersey is an open secret. He had a short stint at the crease during their run-chase, however, he threatened in the brief phase with some clean strokes.

    The Pretoria-born cricketer scored a quick-fire 26 runs off 18 balls, which included a couple of humungous sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal over mid-wicket. However, Hardik Pandya nipped out his wicket when de Villiers was caught at the fine-leg boundary by Rohit Sharma off an attempted pull shot.

    #5 Chahal’s no-ball to Miller- the Turning Point

    After AB de Villiers’ dismissal, India were in a commanding position to win the game and subsequently bag the series. Chahal has been outstanding with his guile and trajectory in the opening three games. He cleaned up David Miller with a leg-break that cannoned into the stumps. However, replays showed that Chahal’s front-foot breached the bowling crease which didn’t legitimise the wicket.

    Miller made him and India pay a heavy price by hammering the bowlers out of the park. He was pretty severe on Chahal and smashed him for quite a few sixes. Nevertheless, the leggie had the last laugh when he trapped Miller to give India a glimmer of hope. However, by then, Miller had already carved the platform for an incredible run-chase.

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