South Africa vs India: Best combined XI from the limited-overs’ series
A certain Virat Kohli consolidated his status as the "Greatest ever ODI cricketer" with a performance of a lifetime in this series.
Published - Feb 25, 2018 1:54 pm | Updated - Feb 26, 2018 3:29 pm
Everyone expected this series between India and South Africa to be an absolute blockbuster and the players ensured it really was the case. Whilst the Indian cricketers displayed one of their best performances away from the Sub-continent, the Proteas conceded heavy losses in the ODI and T20I series.
The Test series was an absolute cliffhanger, but South Africa managed to sneak through with a 2-1 margin. The first Test between the sides went really close, but the hosts displayed a great amount of persistence in the second to take a 2-0 lead. It all began for the Indians in the third Test when they continued their unbeaten streak at the Wanderers, winning the Test with a convincing margin.
A certain Virat Kohli consolidated his status as the “Greatest ever ODI cricketer” with a performance of a lifetime. He registered the most runs by an individual in a Bilateral series and with great support from the wrist spinners, India annihilated the Safaris 5-1. The T20I series went close as well, but India managed to win it 2-1.
As this epic duel came to an end, let’s take a look at the best-combined XI.
Openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Reeza Hendricks
After his performances in the Champions Trophy and ICC World Cup 2015, this has to be the Dhawan has been in his career. He reminisced people of a left-handed Sehwag with his approach and proved to be a strong force to reckon with. Proteas opener Reeza Hendricks was amongst the runs in the T20I series and also registered a timely half-century in the first T20. Rohit Sharma was close to getting on the list, but Hendricks came through.
All-rounder – Suresh Raina
Hardik Pandya had a decent outing with the ball, but he had absolutely nothing to show with the bat. Henceforth, the comeback man Suresh Raina makes a cut into the side the all-rounder. The 32-year-old was playing with a lot of freedom and he seemed to be in great touch. He certainly has announced his return in the best possible way.
Middle Order – Virat Kohli (C), Manish Pandey, JP Duminy
All this while, every writer has tried his best to describe Virat Kohli’s rendition in this series and only one word can be used to describe this, “Immortal”. Manish Pandey had a decent outing in the T20I series, registering a timely half-century and another decent knock in the first game. JP Duminy lead from the front in the T20I series and played a couple of blinders. He gets a direct entry to this list without much debates.
Wicket-keeper – Heinrich Klaasen
What a debut it has been for Heinrich Klassen, who managed to hog all the limelight with his brutal striking. He was one of the best players for them in the limited overs series and his knock in the second T20I will haunt the Indian bowlers for a long time. He showed great promise and is one player to watch out for in the future.
Fast Bowlers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah
No debates, no arguments, India currently has a fast bowling duo who can barely put a wrong step. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah collaborated so wonderfully in the ODIs and T20Is that the Proteas failed to come anywhere close to face them well. Bumrah finished as the most economical bowler in the ODIs whilst Bhuvneshwar received the man of the series award for the T20Is.
Spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal
They scripted history would be such an understatement. Clearly, with the World Cup just about 16 months away from commencement, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have already confirmed their places in the side. Only a miracle can stop them from going to England. They picked up a whopping 33 wickets amongst themselves, with Kuldeep picking 17 and Chahal returning with 16.
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