For the first time in the tour's history, the visiting Indian side was regarded as the favorite. But, with the unlikely happening, the dreams were dashed after South Africa staged a comeback like no other, stunning the great Indians in both the Test and ODI series.
India lost the series opener by 31 runs in Paarl, then surrendered an unassailable 2-0 lead two nights later with a seven-wicket loss at the same venue. Fortunately for India, the series is not part of the ODI Super League, so there won't be much on the line in the final match. The win in the last ODI was the icing on the cake for a growing South African side.
The first ODI of the series saw Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen put up a fighting stand after South Africa lost some early wickets. The stand resulted in the highest fourth-wicket partnerships for the Proteas versus India in ODIs. The partnership proved vital as South Africa won the match
Kohli’s misfortunes with the bat were magnified further when he was dismissed for a duck for the 14th time in ODIs. This was also the first time a spinner has done so. In the second ODI, Proteas spinner Maharaj spun the ball, surprising Kohli to this feat. Sachin Tendulkar tops the list with 20 ducks in his ODI career.
Rishabh Pant showing why it’s difficult for the spinners to bowl in the middle overs with 5 inside the circle…you gotta put pressure on them to exploit that rule. 💪👏👏 #SAvInd— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 21, 2022
Scripting stories of another successful Indian wicketkeeper, Rishabh Pant’s 85 against South Africa in Paarl was the highest individual score by an Indian WK in SA in ODIs. The Indian keeper beat the record set by the present coach of the team, Rahul Dravid when he scored 77 in Durban in the year 2001.
When Proteas successfully chased down the target to win the second ODI, they recorded the highest successful run chase in 15 ODIs in Paarl. The previous highest score was 250 chased by South Africa against Sri Lanka in 2001, Jacques Kallis top-scored that match scoring 100 of 139 balls.
Quinton de Kock’s century in the third ODI of the series was his 6th against the Indians. The Proteas keeper-batsman now stands just one short for the record of most ODI 100s against India. Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya tops the list with 7 centuries although he took 85 innings. Whereas, Quinton de Kock has played only 16 innings.
With South Africa winning the thrilling encounter of the series finale, the match resulted in the record of South Africa winning by the fewest margin of runs versus India in the ODI format. The previous best was 5 runs in Kanpur in 2015, followed by 10 runs in Nagpur in the year 2000.
Being an example of not making good first impressions, KL Rahul becomes the first Indian captain to lose each of the first three ODIs in charge. The opening batsman clearly lacked the leadership qualities and the thinking capabilities to influence the match in any capacity.
This was the fifth time India got whitewashed in an ODI series with three-plus ODIs. The initial series India faced this horror was in 1983 in the hands of the West Indies. The Caribbean team repeated the feat again in 1989, with India experiencing the same against Sri Lanka and New Zealand too.
With India being clearly outplayed in this series. The management needs to ask some tough questions to sort out this mess and clear the confusion in the ranks. With the series against West Indies coming up next, India will need to take steps to massively improve from these dire performances. What did you think India did wrong, resulting in failing to win even a single match.
Cover Credits: CricketTimes