Virat Kohli and boys became the first Indian team ever to register a series win on South African soil, be it in any format of the game. "Winning a bilateral series for the first time in South Africa is no easy feat. India is only the second team (Australia, twice) to beat the African nation in a five-match ODI series in their own den. This stat alone should put things in perspective. They are not an easy team to beat at home and full credit to the Indian team for coming back strongly after that rare defeat at the Wanderers," wrote the 58-year-old.
"A good last game and success in the T20 series to follow, will rightly perch the Indian team right at the top in terms of confidence for the tougher assignments in future and the World Cup in particular. This result has proved beyond doubt that India has all the ammunition to be successful in all conditions in this format. I am sure this is the start of many good things to come for this confident, young and fit Indian side."
For Srikkanth, series win is the right justification for their no. 1 spot.
"What has stood out in the series has been the manner in which the wins have been secured. The margins have been massive and there has been little scope for SA to even be in the game. This series win also clearly showed who the World No.1 in this format really is. To dislodge the current toppers with such authority augurs well for Indian cricket. At this stage India should not let go of the intensity as a 5-1 score line sounds much sweeter than 4-2," he wrote.
He also highlighted the importance of Rohit Sharma in the ODI format. Rohit had scored a brilliant 109 after a failure in first four matches. In fact he went on to term the opening duo of Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan as one of the best in the world.
"As usual practice in this series, this win also threw a few positives for Virat Kohli. It was vital for Rohit Sharma to find some form. He is one of the better white-ball batsmen going around the world at the moment and his form is crucial to India's chances in Australia and England," wrote Srikkanth.
"If both Dhawan and Rohit are in form, they are easily the toughest opening pair to bowl to in world cricket. Add the left-right combination with Virat to follow, and India should be waiting for games to start."
First Published: February 16, 2018, 9:32 AM IST