Twitter Reactions: Middle-order woes continue haunting India as South Africa emerge victorious in the opening ODI

Twitter Reactions: Middle-order woes continue haunting India as South Africa emerge victorious in the opening ODI

South Africa cricket team
South Africa cricket team. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Extending their sensational run from the Test series win, South Africa thrashed India by 31 runs in the opening ODI, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. It was indeed a convincing victory for the home team as they were better than India across all departments. While skipper Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen slammed centuries, Lungi Ngidi and Tabraiz Shamsi made the ball talk as India failed to chase 297.

Earlier in the game, South Africa won the toss and opted to bat at the Boland Park in Paarl. Standing in his maiden ODI match as captain, KL Rahul had a job in hand and his tactics looked pretty impressive early on. The likes of Quinton de Kock, Janneman Malan and Aiden Markram departed cheaply as the home team found themselves tottering at 68/3.

However, skipper Temba Bavuma joined forces with Rassie van der Dussen and the it was one-way traffic since then. The duo just didn’t steady the ship for the hosts but also scored at an impressive rate. Both batters also advanced to their respective centuries, adding 204 runs for the fourth wicket. Riding on their brilliance, South Africa posted 296/4 in their allotted 50 overs.

Skipper KL Rahul failed with the bat in maiden assignment

In reply, India got off to a brilliant start with openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan adding 46 runs in pretty quick time. While the in-form Rahul was expected to play a captain’s knock, he fell prey to former Punjab Kings teammate Aiden Markram at 12. Nevertheless, Dhawan found a potent partner in Virat Kohli and the duo did what they are known for.

Notably, Kohli was standing in his first international match as a non-captain since 2017. Hence, many eyes were on him. The right-handed batter did look impressive as he added 94 runs alongside Shikhar Dhawan for the second wicket. Both batters even slammed half-centuries as India looked in command.

However, they departed in quick succession as the middle-order couldn’t do much. Batting at number seven, Shardul Thakur did slam a 43-ball 50 but his efforts couldn’t only minimize the margin of defeat. India were eventually restricted to 265/8, losing the contest by 31 runs.

Meanwhile, let’s look at how Twitterati reacted to India’s defeat: