Why India lost ODI series in South Africa

New Delhi: India had started their tour of South Africa on a bright note, winning the Centurion Test by 113 runs. But after that, South Africa came back to win the next two Tests and take the series 2-1. One expected that with the ODI series, there will be a change in results.

But the same script followed as India were blanked 3-0 by South Africa in the ODIs. Playing ODIs for the first time after July 2021 (for first-choice players, after March 2021), India were rusty and looked out of sorts in the 50-over matches. We dissect the reasons behind India’s 3-0 loss in the ODIs against South Africa:

A quick glance at the batting cards of both teams will show the difference between South Africa and India. Three of the four highest run-scorers in the series were all from the hosts. 

Quinton de Kock topped the chart with 229 runs at an average of 76.33 and strike rate of 96.62 with a hundred and a fifty, Rassie van der Dussen at number two with 218 runs with a whopping average of 218.00 (was unbeaten twice in the series) and strike rate of 112.95 with a hundred and fifty as well.

Skipper Temba Bavuma made 153 runs at an average of 51 and strike rate of 80.10, including a century in the first match.

For India, Shikhar Dhawan was their top run-getter in the series, sandwiched between van der Dussen and Bavuma, making 169 runs at an average of 56.33 and strike rate of 86.66, with just two fifties.

India’s batters failed to aggregate 200 runs in the series. Moreover, no Indian batter got to the three-figure mark. While Dhawan and Kohli gave starts but were unable to make it big, the middle-order failed to stand up to the occasion and India’s batting lost the plot from there.

With the ODI series against West Indies at home in February, India will be hoping to fix the glitches in batting.

Much was expected of Ravichandran Ashwin’s off-spin and Yuzvendra Chahal’s leg-spin against South Africa. But they couldn’t put up a good show as South Africa’s spinners outplayed them. In a complete reversal of 2018, where Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav bamboozled the South Africa batters, here the Proteas’ spinners were getting the better of India’s batters.

Overall, the troika of Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj and Aiden Markram took nine wickets in 65 overs while conceding 218 runs. On the other hand, combining Ashwin, Chahal, Jayant Yadav and Shreyas Iyer’s numbers, India had just three wickets from spin in 32.1 overs while conceding 343 runs. In terms of pace, South Africa took 15 wickets while their Indian counterparts could get ten wickets. Clearly, the spin attack didn’t do wonders for India.

 

Rohit Sharma returns to lead India in ODIs, T20Is

New Delhi: India has announced an 18-member squad for the upcoming ODI and T20I series against the West Indies, with Rohit Sharma returning to lead the team and leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi getting a maiden call-up to the senior side.

It would be the first series for Rohit as the full-time ODI skipper after he replaced Virat Kohli in December, last year.

However, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is undergoing his final stage of recovery post his knee injury and will not be available for the ODIs and T20Is. Hardik Pandya also remains sidelined as of now.

The All-India Senior Selection Committee led by Chetan Sharma has rested pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami for the series. On the other hand, KL Rahul will be available from the 2nd ODI onwards.

Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been handed a break but his Tamil Nadu teammate Washington Sundar makes a return after missing out on the South Africa tour due to Covid-19.

India are set to play three ODIs at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad from February 6 followed by the T20I series at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata from February 16.

Image courtesy of (India TV)

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