Seems like SA were on the backfoot way before the series started, SA Skipper FAF Du Plessis entered the series with some dizziness after a surprising defeat in the 3rd Test. Faf told to the media before the 1st ODI began- ‘India may improve their ODI record this time in SA”
Such words that too from an opposition skipper is not only a morale booster for India but a bit of a discouragement or an air of wrong vibes amongst his own boys. What’s more India got three new big changes which were much needed in the ODI line up. The cult of Dhoni arrived in the playing XI wherein he is at a stage where even if he doesn’t score runs, just his mere presence is enough to lift up the boys, guide the youngsters and the skipper and instill the fear amongst the opposition players. The chinaman artist Kuldeep Yadav made way into the playing XI too! and last but not the least the ever dependable clone of Dravid- Ajinkya Rahane was back too.
Hence, all the factors were in the favor of Indian team and icing on the cake was their world’s best fast bowler Dale Steyn being dropped after injury making the things more worse for South Africa. Plus the Kingsmead wicket is almost 60% the type of wicket which is usually played in India for ODI’s and IPL and on wickets like this, it’s a hunting ground for Kohli where he waits for an minute opportunity to pounce on it.
SA who won the toss and elected to bat first and despite after a decent start by the openers Amla(16) and Kock(34) followed by a wonderful century by Du Plessis at no.3, the middle order of SA could not capitalize. Big names like David Miller, JP Duminy and Chris Morris at the middle order could have easily taken the team total to 350-360 which they are fully capable of.
A target of 270 in 300 balls in the fast paced hard hitting era of 2018 is possible in any wicket and against any bowling attack of the world, no matter how strong your bowling line-up is. Once you set your eyes in for a few overs and have just lost a wicket or two under 25overs, there are full chances of chasing down the score successfully.
And luckily when you have the master of chasing Kohli (112 at no.3) and dependable Rahane (79 at no.4) teaming up for an epic partnership at the top of the order, hardly anything could come in between the win. India eventually sealed the 1st ODI with a thumping win while Kohli’s association with ODI tons continue notching up his 33rd ODI ton while also equaling Ganguly’s record of most tons as a Captain in ODI’s. As always Dhoni finished off the chase as India won by 6wkts.
With this win, india will have a big morale boost while the positive momentum which SA had developed after 2 test wins has now ended. Now the things have neutralized with India bringing the momentum back in their favor and this will result in a great competition in the coming ODI’s.
Written by Cricket Expert Analyst-