New Delhi: Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal once again spun a web over the South African batsmen after Rohit Sharma’s sensational ton helped India post 274/7 in their 50 overs. The spinners picked 6 wickets between them as the visitors defeated South Africa by 73 runs in the 5th ODI in Port Elizabeth and sealed the 6-match series with one game to go.
CricketNext takes a look at the performance of the Indian players from Tuesday’s game.
Shikhar Dhawan: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Having taken the Proteas bowlers to the cleaners in the previous games, it was a rare bad day in the office for Shikhar Dhawan as he managed to score 34 off 23 balls on Tuesday. What made it slightly disappointing was that he looked set and was scoring quickly when Kagiso Rabada had him fall to the short-ball trap. With the thirdman fielder brought in and the deep square leg fielder waiting for the aerial shot, Dhawan should have shown better application than hitting it straight down the fielder’s throat.
Rohit Sharma: Rating 9.5: Verdict: Excellent
After a string of poor scores, Rohit finally made it count as he hit a match-winning hundred, the 17th of his career. It was a quality innings on a wicket that looked slow and sluggish as the game progressed. Having been involved in the run outs of skipper Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, it was important that he made it count. The only little negative from the innings would be his inability to continue after scoring the hundred. He got out when the team needed him to up the ante going into the finishing stages of the innings.
Virat Kohli: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
A rare failure for the captain with the bat, but he more than made up for it with some good leadership calls on the field. Even at the batting crease, he looked in good touch before a misunderstanding with Rohit saw him being run out by Duminy. 36 quality runs before he had to walk back to the pavilion. Expressive as always on the field, he was a plethora of emotions as India registered a historic bilateral ODI series win over the Proteas.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rating 3: Verdict: Poor
Ajinkya Rahane once again flattered to deceive and this time it was the batsman who would be kicking himself for getting run out when there was no single available. Hitting the ball to Morne Morkel, Rahane started off for a run even as Rohit was busy ball watching. By the time Rahane realised he was in trouble, he had almost reached the non-striker’s end. After a wonderful start to the ODI series, Rahane would be cursing himself for the way in which he has been dismissed in the last few games.
Shreyas Iyer: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Shreyas Iyer has been showing the elements of an international batsman, but he has failed to strike big as he edged Ngidi to Klaasen behind the wicket just when it seemed that he was building the platform for a late innings flourish. He was pretty dodgy in the field as well as he missed a sitter off Aiden Markram’s bat. Luckily for India, the catch did not cost the team too much. Iyer must start converting the starts into big scores if he wants to cement his place in this team.
MS Dhoni: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is yet to hit form with the bat in this series and his inability to up the ante at the end of the innings once again saw him perish. But Dhoni was brilliant behind the wickets and as has been the case in recent times, he was once again the man who was guiding the bowlers with his tactical inputs. Dhoni needs to get a hold of his batting if he wishes to silence critics who feel that he is no longer a force to reckon with when it comes to wielding the willow.
Hardik Pandya: Rating 6: Verdict: Good
All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been having a poor run ever since the first innings of the first Test in the Rainbow Nation. But just when the critics were breathing down his neck, Pandya shut them up and showed why skipper Virat Kohli has compared him to match-winning all-rounder Ben Stokes in the past. Having failed to up the ante with the bat, Pandya picked the crucial wickets of JP Duminy and AB de Villiers to derail the Proteas innings. Not to forget the crucial run out of Hashim Amla and the brilliant catch of Shamsi. He is a livewire on the field and his performance does lift the spirit of the team.
Kuldeep Yadav: Rating 10: Verdict: Excellent
The South African batsmen had claimed after the win in Johannesburg that they had solved the spin mystery that the Indians had dished out. But Kuldeep showed on Tuesday that there is still some way to go before they can decipher what the duo of Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal are dishing out. 30 wickets in 5 games from the duo has been an integral factor in India winning their first-ever bilateral ODI series in the Rainbow Nation.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Rating 9: Verdict: Very Good
If he steals the show in one, Kuldeep goes one up in the other and on Tuesday it was again Kuldeep’s evening. But one cannot take away the pressure that Chahal keeps building from the other end. Two wickets again as he had the perfect leg-spinner to castle David Miller. It has been a dream series for the wrist spinner and he will only gain in confidence from these matches.
Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah did not have much to write home about after the 5th ODI, but an all-round display from the rest of the bowlers ensured that their rare off day with the white ball did not hurt skipper Kohli much. While Bhuvi was expensive and failed to pick a wicket, Bumrah did have Aiden Markram’s wicket to show for his 7-over spell.