South Africa continued to remain unbeaten in pink ODIs as newcomer Heinrich Klaasen starred with the bat to help his side beat India by 5 wickets in a rain curtailed tie at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. The win also meant that South Africa stayed alive in the six-match series, with two matches to go.
CricketNext takes a look at the performance of the Indian players from Saturday’s game.
Shikhar Dhawan: Rating 9: Verdict: Very Good
Ace India opener Shikhar Dhawan continued his good run of form in the ‘Rainbow Nation’ as he struck his first century of the series and it came in his 100th ODI for the Men in Blue. Dhawan became the first Indian to slam a ton in his 100th ODI while he is the ninth player overall to do so. After two fifties on the trot, Dhawan made sure he crossed the 100-run mark in this match as it was long due from the southpaw. However, Dhawan must be kicking himself for getting out the way he did and it can be said that it was his wicket that lifted the South African bowlers and they restricted India to under 300. Nonetheless, it was an innings of high quality from the opener.
Rohit Sharma: Rating 1: Verdict: Very Poor
Rohit’s poor form in South Africa continued as he was dismissed for just five runs in the innings. Rohit looked out of sorts right through the course of the 13 balls that he faced and he was finally dismissed by Kagiso Rabada. While Rohit’s class is unquestionable but he has to start producing the goods on a more consistent basis on away tours.
Virat Kohli: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Another day and another run-filled innings for Mr. Consistent Virat Kohli. The run-machine was once again called on to the crease early because of Rohit’s dismissal and once again he showed his class and stitched a magnificent 158-run partnership with Shikhar Dhawan. Kohli slammed his 46 ODI fifty but he couldn’t convert it into a big one this time and was dismissed for 75. In the field, Kohli did his best to stop the flow of runs but things were out of his control and for once, the bowlers had a very off day.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rating 3: Verdict: Poor
Ajinkya Rahane has now been handed opportunities to score big runs in two matches on the trot but both times he has failed to live up to those expectations. Rahane came out to bat in the 32nd over of the innings and he had ample time to put some runs under his belt. However, the right-hander couldn’t deliver with the willow again and was dismissed for just 8 runs.
Shreyas Iyer: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Shreyas Iyer was included into the squad in place of Kedar Jadhav, who according to skipper Kohli had sustained an hamstring injury in the last match. Iyer stitched a good partnership of 37 runs with MS Dhoni for the fifth wicket to steady the Indian ship when wickets were falling at regular intervals. However, he could must only 18 and couldn’t manage to hit the big shot that was needed in the final overs of the innings.
MS Dhoni: Rating 6: Verdict: Good
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was sent up the order by the team management when wickets were tumbling after a short rain interruption. The best part about Dhoni’s batting was that he remained not out when 50-over were up and held the innings from one end, enroute to scoring a crucial 43-ball 42*. Dhoni’s late flourish ensured India got closer to the 300-run mark and he gave the bowlers a good total to defend.
Hardik Pandya: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
All-rounder Hardik Pandya needs to pull up his socks now as he has been very inconsistent right through the course of the series — both with the bat and ball. Once again, the stage was set for him in final few over of the Indian innings but he couldn’t come up with the big shots that was the need of the hour and was dismissed for just 9 off 13 balls. While bowling, he was spanked for 37 runs in 5 overs and had the economy rate of over 7. Although, he did pick up the crucial wicket of AB De Villiers but his line and length was not up to the mark whatsoever.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Bhuvneshwar Kumar didn’t have a good match according to his very high standards with the ball as he went wicket-less and gave away 27 runs in four overs that he bowled in the innings. It could have been the conditions that made it difficult to bowl but much was expected from India’s premier pacer and he failed to delivery at this crunch conjecture in the series.
Jasprit Bumrah: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
There is reason why Bumrah is regarded as one of the best pacers in the world in limited-over formats of the game. Once again, Bumrah was very economical in the four overs that he got to bowl in the match as he gave away just 21 runs. Also, he managed to dismiss skipper Aiden Markram, who looked very good early on. It was shame that he couldn’t bowl much after the revised target was given following the rain interruption.
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal: Rating 5: Verdict: Average
Everyone knew there will come a time in the series when law of average will catch up to India’s latest spin twins — Chahal and Kuldeep. The duo were taken apart by the South African batsmen and they gave away too many runs for the captain’s liking. Kuldeep gave away 51 in 6 overs while Chahal was smashed for 68 runs in 5.3 overs. The two accounted for just three wickets in the match after sharing 21 wickets between them in the first thee ODIs. In their defense, the conditions became very hard after rain for spin bowling and the hosts batsmen made full use of it.