CricketNext takes a look at the performance of the Indian players from Thursday’s game.
Shikhar Dhawan: Rating 6: Verdict: Above Average
Dropped from the team after the first Test, Dhawan started the ODI series well, scoring 35 off 29 balls before a misunderstanding with skipper Virat Kohli saw him get run out at the non-striker’s end. Dhawan had weathered the early storm from Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada and just when he looked good to convert the good start into a good score, he was out. But the momentum is back with Dhawan and that can be a dangerous sign for the rest of the series as far as the Proteas are concerned.
Rohit Sharma: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor
Rohit’s poor form in the Rainbow Nation continued and the change in format — from Tests to ODIs — didn’t help his cause as he managed just 20. More than the runs, the wild swat across the line, that saw him get out to Morkel was a dampener considering that India had started well and needed a good partnership on a Durban wicket that was slightly two-paced and wasn’t the most conducive to batting.
Virat Kohli: Rating 10: Verdict: Excellent
The skipper deserves a perfect 10 for not just another century in a chase, but also for his captaincy skills. Ringing in the perfect changes during the South Africa innings, Kohli got Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to bowl at the right time to put a break on the South Africa innings. Coming to the chase, it was a case of vintage Kohli at the crease, looking to keep the scoreboard moving before starting to take the necessary risks towards the end of the innings. He also had the perfect foil in Ajinkya Rahane.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rating 9: Verdict: Very Good
Dropped from the Test team as the management preferred Rohit Sharma over him, Rahane showed his true potential when he hit a match-winning 48 in the second innings of the third Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. And he kept the show going in the opening ODI as he hit an 86-ball 79 to set up the chase for the visitors. The only negative in the game for Rahane has to be not attempting Faf du Plessis’s catch when he failed to locate the ball against the bright sunlight. Apart from that, it was a perfect return for Rahane to the limited-overs team.
Hardik Pandya: Rating 3: Verdict: Poor
Hardik’s bowling is a cause for concern for this team as he is touted as a bowling all-rounder. The seam position is going haywire every time he tries to bowl faster. The batting too needs to get more consistent even though he didn’t have much of a job at hand when he came out to bat in the opening ODI at Kingsmead as he finished unbeaten on 3 as India finished the chase in 45.3 overs.
MS Dhoni: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Dhoni did not have much to do and hit the winning runs off Rabada. But what has been really impressive is the way Dhoni has constantly guided the bowlers, speaking to them. In fact, he was also seen helping skipper Virat Kohli adjust the field from time to time. Clearly, Dhoni is enjoying himself as just a senior statesman in the team with Kohli taking over the reins as captain.
Kedar Jadhav: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor
While Kedar was not needed to bat on Thursday, his bowling left a lot to be desired. Playing in the team primarily as a batsman, Kedar is also expected to pick crucial wickets for Kohli, but he gave away too many runs on Thursday and finished with figures of 0/19 from his 3 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor
A rare off day for the pacer as Bhuvneshwar went for as many as 71 runs from his 10 overs, with the wicket of Faf du Plessis as consolation. Having bowled brilliantly in the Test series, skipper Kohli would have expected him to start the ODI series with a bang, but sadly that did not happen. The pacer will look to come back strongly in the second ODI on Sunday.
Kuldeep Yadav: Rating 9: Verdict: Excellent
Playing his first game on South African soil, Kuldeep was very impressive as he kept inducing the batsmen to play their shots with flighted deliveries. With MS Dhoni guiding him from behind the wickets, there was no stopping the chinaman bowler. The bowler finally finished with figures of 3/34 from his 10 overs. In the past, he has often been expensive in picking wickets, but on Thursday, he was the most economical bowler on display.
Jasprit Bumrah: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Another pacer who failed to recreate the magic of the Test series is Bumrah. Considered a limited-overs specialist till making his debut in the just concluded Test series in the Rainbow Nation, Bumrah was on fire in the Test series, but he had an off day on Thursday as he failed to create much of an impact in the opening game and finished with figures of 1/56 from his 10 overs. His lone wicket was that of Hashim Amla.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Rating 8.5: Verdict: Very Good
Chahal has been Virat Kohli’s go-to-man in limited-overs cricket and he once again proved his worth as he combined beautifully with Kuldeep to finish with figures of 2/45 from his 10 overs. The wicket of Quinton de Kock was crucial at that juncture as he was combining beautifully with Faf du Plessis and looking to take the game away from the Indians. Chahal’s other wicket was Aiden Markram.
Ajinkya RahaneKuldeep YadavMS Dhonirohit sharmashikhar dhawanSouth Africa vs India 2018Team IndiaTeam India Report Cardvirat kohliyuzvendra chahal
First Published: February 2, 2018, 2:59 PM IST