India vs South Africa | Wednesday 14 October | Holkar Stadium, Indore | 10:00
There aren’t many 20 year-old bowlers in world cricket who would be able to hold their nerve as well as Kagiso Rabada. The young South African quick was faced with the prospect of defending 11 runs in the final over of an ODI against one of the world’s finest finishers, MS Dhoni. Looking calm and collected, Rabada proceeded to bang in the short ball, and watched Dhoni and Stuary Binny fall in the final over of the game to win the first ODI of the series for South Africa by five runs.
The teams will now head to the Holer Stadium in Indore to play the second ODI of this five-match series.
South Africa 1/1
South Africa 1/1
Russel Domingo will be absolutely thrilled by the way his side performed in sweltering conditions at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur. The Proteas posted 303-5, thanks in-large to AB de Villiers’ sensational 73 ball century. He was ably assisted toward the death by Farhaan Berhadien who is quickly establishing himself as one of the best finishers in world cricket.
Both South African openers will have been disappointed not to kick on and score more. Quinton de Kock looked in fine form before a vicious off-spinner from Ashwin drew him forward and found the edge, Suresh Raina taking a sharp catch at first slip. Amla also looked good in the early part of the innings, only to fall to a quicker delivery from Amit Mishra which cannoned into the stumps off of his pad. The show, however, was stolen by AB de Villiers who scored a match-winning 104* off of just 73 balls, reaching his century with a six off the last ball of the innings.
The South African management will be concerned with how many runs their bowlers conceded. Not one of the six bowlers used in the first ODI were able to keep their economy rates below 5. The likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir will need to be more tight-fisted going into the 2nd ODI if they’re going to win this series. That being said, Kagiso Rabada bowled an outstanding over at the end of the Indian Innings in which he took two wickets and conceded just 6 runs, effectively winning the match for the men in green and gold.
There shouldn’t be any changes to the squad going forward into the second ODI. Although de Kock’s failure to kick on will be cause for concern, the way he played leading up to his dismissal and the withdrawl of Rillee Rossouw from the squad will likely afford him another go at the Indian bowling attack.
The men in blue will be absolutely gutted at the manner in which they lost the first ODI. Having lost Shkiar Dhawan relatively early, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane scored 149 runs for the second wicket. The pair targeted JP Duminy and Farhaan Berhadien in the middle overs in which they both targeted the leg side with some exquisite batting.
The pair looked to set the platform for Dhoni and co to finish things off before Rahane fell softly for 60 after being caught off the bowling of Berhadien. Sharma, however, went on to score what should have been a match-winning 150 before he was also dismissed softly, chipping the ball back to Imran Tahir for a simple catch.
India’s cause was not helped by the fact that they lost Ravi Ashwin to a side strain having completed just 4.4 of his 10 allotted overs. In his absence, the South African batsmen were able to target the likes of Stuart Binny and Suresh Raina, eventually scoring 109 runs off the last ten overs.
The Indians were again let down by several soft dismissals of Sunday, a trend that seems to have continued from the T20 series. With MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina looking out of sorts at the death, there is immense pressure on the likes of Kohli, Sharma, Dhawan and Rahane to do all of the scoring.
It’s been a long time since India have looked so shaky in a home series. Although they’ve been unlucky, many pundits were expecting them to win both the T20 and ODI series comfortably. They will be looking for a better all-round performance from the starting XI come Wednesday morning.
The Indians enjoy playing at the Holkar Stadium. The ground has only hosted three ODIs in the past with India convincingly winning all of them. We can expect a much closer game here come Wednesday morning. You can bank on the pitch being prepared especially for India’s spinners. There should be very little grass cover and moisture in the wicket, making life difficult for the likes of Steyn and Morkel.
Verdict: South Africa 1/1
The South African camp is buzzing after winning the first ODI in Kanpur. Couple this with the fact that India’s middle-lower order has been struggling to close out games of late, I think the Proteas will be able to continue the dominance they’ve asserted over the Indians thus far by going 2-0 up in the series.