Even though this was a low scoring match where it looked difficult initially to score those runs against the fast bowlers, the one thing which must have kept everyone glued to the TV was the exquisite bowling of Bumrah and Rabada.
It was a mere treat to the eyes on the line and length which these two young fast bowlers managed to achieve in the opening spells. SA opting to bat first at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground were already under severe pressure with 2 losses on their back and Steyn out of the team. However, the positives were Amla and Miller back in the side who both are experienced campaigners. Amla who started off with a trademark coverdrive at one moment looked like he would score a hundred today but it was Bumrah spitting fire on the openers. The 1st over of Bumrah itself registered 5 swing and misses by De Kock who was looking clueless vs the seam and pace of Bumrah.
India for the 1st time can boast of a fast bowler who bowls at 140+ consistently and can be compared to the fast bowlers of Overseas teams in terms of quality and consistency. The top order of SA managed to put cameos while the late fight by Rabada (31*), Morris (42) and Andile (34) ensured SA crossed the 200 run mark putting up a respectable 227/9 in 50 overs. Yuzvendra Chahal was impressive with the ball being the pick of the bowlers with 4/51 on a track which looked more friendly for the fast bowlers.
India chasing 228 were off to a patchy start with both the openers Dhawan and Sharma struggling vs the pace of Rabada. Kagisa Rabada bowled a much similar opening spell like Bumrah and at one stage India were struggling at 54/2 in the 16th over with a run rate below 4 rpo.
However, Rohit Sharma who found it difficult to get going in the early part of his innings fought against all the odds and survived till the end which was a welcome sight to the eyes. Rohit scored an unbeaten 122* off 144 balls while Pandya quickly finished off the match with 3 boundaries ensuring the match did not go till the last over.
India won the match by 6 wkts while Rohit Sharma was declared “man of the match”, yes it was a good win to begin with but one thing which everyone observed was India did found it difficult in the first 20 overs and were not looking in a hurry at all to seal the chase quickly. A target of 280 or 300+ will certainly test India if we bat like the way we did vs the Proteas. On the other hand, the positives from the match was excellent bowling by Bumrah and Chahal which is a good sign for team India going ahead into the World Cup’19