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SA vs IND ODIs, India Report Card: Shikhar Dhawan Makes Strong Comeback But Middle-Order Disappoints

India managed to win just one match on the South Africa tour. (AP Image)

India managed to win just one match on the South Africa tour. (AP Image)

We take a look at the Indian team and how each player has performed throughout the ODI series.

India started 2022 on a dull note with an underwhelming show on the crucial South Africa tour. After losing the Test series, the Men in Blue were hammered by the hosts in the 50-over series. KL Rahul, who led the team in absence of Rohit Sharma, failed to inspire India against a young South African unit that put up a collective performance in home conditions. Not many gave South Africa a chance before the start of the series but India failed to capitalize on several occasions. The ODI-series drubbing is an eye-opener for India to change their template of the format going forward in the 2023 World Cup. We take a look at the Indian team and how each player has performed throughout the ODI series.

KL Rahul – 4/10 

It was a forgettable series for Rahul both as a batter and captain. The flamboyant opener scored just 76 runs in three ODIs which includes a half-century in the second match. It seemed like the captaincy pressure affected his batting as he failed to give convert his starts into big scores throughout the series. In terms of captaincy, Rahul faced a lot of scrutiny after losing all three matches. Several questions were raised when he didn’t use Venkatesh Iyer as a bowler in the first ODI and the energy in the team was also missing.

Shikhar Dhawan – 8/10

The veteran India opener made a comeback into India’s limited-overs set up after the 2021 T20 World Cup snub. Dhawan silenced his critics with a power-pack performance against a quality South Africa attack. The southpaw failed to hit a century but he smashed 169 runs at an average of 56.33. With this series, Dhawan has made his case strong as India’s opener for the upcoming series. India might push Rahul to middle-order when Rohit Sharma returns to the squad.

Virat Kohli – 6/10

It was Kohli’s first series as a non-captain after almost 7 years. The former skipper looked in decent touch in the first and third ODI but he failed to convert his fifty into a hundred. Kohli last scored an international century in 2019 and he failed to end the drought in this series with soft-dismissals in all three matches. He scored 116 runs at an average of 38.67.

Rishabh Pant – 5/10

The wicketkeeper batter once again came under a lot of scanners for throwing his wicket away in the third ODI. Pant was dismissed on a golden duck after playing a rash shot. He also missed a couple of chances behind the stumps in the last ODI which cost India big. However, he scored 85 runs in the second ODI to help India post 287/6. However, his struggle in batting while chasing continues in ODI cricket.

Shreyas Iyer – 2/10

The stylish batter had a disappointing time in the ODI series as he failed to live up to expectations in all three matches. Iyer’s vulnerability against short ball was exposed by the Proteas pacers as he scored just 54 runs in 3 matches. He had a chance to cement his place in the middle-order but now the case is wide open for many.

Venkatesh Iyer – 3/10

The Madhya Pradesh all-rounder failed to capitalize on the opportunity in his maiden ODI series. In the two ODIs, he scored just 24 runs, while he remained wicketless with the ball. He didn’t get the chance to bowl in the first match but Rahul used him well in the second but he failed to grab any. While he was dropped from the XI in the third match.

Suryakumar Yadav – 6/10

The talented batter played just one match in the series in which he scored 39 runs. He played a handy knock in the final match of the series but failed to guide his team to a winning line.

Shardul Thakur – 7/10 

Shardul Thakur ‘the batter’ impressed many in this series but ‘the bowler’ failed to create any major impact. He scored 90 runs in 2 matches and showed India that they can rely on him for his batting prowess. While with the ball he just picked 1 wicket in 2 matches.

Deepak Chahar – 8.5/10

 The 29-year-old got a chance in playing XI in the third ODI in absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The seamer picked two wickets with the new ball and then he played an incredible 54-run knock to take the game closer. However, India lost the match by 4 runs but Chahar’s batting skills make his case strong for future in the XI over Bhuvneshwar.

Ravichandran Ashwin – 3/10

The veteran India spinner failed to create any major impact in his comeback ODI series. He just picked 1 wicket in the 2 matches he played. Interestingly the surface on the first two matches provide assistance to the spinners but the veteran offie failed to exploit that. He looked inferior in front of the Proteas spinners

Jasprit Bumrah –  7/10

 It was a long tour for Bumrah as he played all six matches (3 Tests and as many ODIs). The premier pacer bowled his heart out in all three matches and created a lot of problems for opposition batters and ended as the second-highest wicket-taker of the series – 5. However, India look to manage his workload in future as playing him throughout the tour increases chances of picking an injury.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 2/10

The veteran medium-pacer was lacklustre in this series which has raised questions over his position in the limited-overs squad. He got some swing in the first spell of opening ODI but after that, he looked quite ordinary. Bhuvneshwar remained wicketless in the first 2 ODIs and as a result, he was dropped for the third match.

Yuzvendra Chahal – 4/10

The leg-spinner had a chance to answer selectors back after he was snubbed from the 2021 T20 WC squad but he failed to do so. Chahal picked just two wickets in three matches which were played on a slow track. The South African spinners performed better than him on the same tracks.

Prasidh Krishna – 6.5/10 

The young pacer impressed many with his bowling in the last ODI of the series. He picked three wickets and troubled the hosts’ batters with his short balls. With his performance in Cape Town, Krishna has managed to move on in the race of young India pacers.

Jayant Yadav – 3/10

The off-spinner was included in India’s ODI squad at the last minute after Washington Sundar was tested COVID-19 positive. He got a chance to showcase his white-ball skills in the last ODI but he failed miserably. He remained wicketless in Cape Town which might put a roadblock in his ODI career.

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first published:January 25, 2022, 07:00 IST