South Africa continued their fine recent form at India’s expense with a memorable win in the first ODI. Will India be able to bounce back against the Proteas in the second match to keep the series alive heading into third match at Wanderers? Read on for our full South Africa vs India second ODI preview and prediction:
South Africa vs India Second ODI Preview and Prediction
Series So Far
South Africa came into this match fresh from a famous Test series win against India, twice chasing down imposing-looking targets comfortably. Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen were both at the crease when the winning runs were struck in the third and decisive match of that series and, perhaps fittingly, they combined again in a superb match-winning partnership in the first ODI after early blows for India had left the Proteas in trouble.
Both men struck centuries in a 204-run partnership that played a vital rule in lifting South Africa to 296 after 50 overs, with van der Dussen’s 126 from just 96 balls particularly impressive. India threatened at times in the chase, but were left to rue a slow start against Aiden Markam’s part-time spin before a middle order collapse which saw them lose five wickets for 47 runs left their lower-order with far too much to do on a low and slow pitch.
Both Quentin de Kock and Janneman Malan looked a little short of competitive cricket at the top of the order. Malan’s stay was particularly brief, but both will know they have the ability to improve in the second match and have plenty of credit in the bank besides. Captain Bavuma could hardly be expected to improve on his efforts, but will have high hopes of maintaining his excellent run of form. Markram, however, remains a man very much in need of runs after another dismal showing.
Van der Dussen demonstrated once again his superb ODI credentials with a second hundred in the format, with David Miller hardly called upon thanks to the efforts of those above him in the batting order. Andile Phehlukwayo wasn’t called upon to bat, but bowled well with figures of 2/26 in his five overs. Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj went wicketless, but both bowled economically, whilst Lungi Ngidi and Tabraiz Shamsi contributed some vital strikes.
India opened with KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan in the absence of Rohit Sharma. Rahul was unusually poor, out for 12 of 17 but Dhawan was the best of the Indian batsman and pressed his case for a more permanent grip on a spot at the top. Virat Kohli made an assured 51 in his first innings since losing the ODI captaincy only to hole out playing the sweep when well set. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, however, disappointed, though Pant was perhaps unlucky to fall to a superb bit of wicket-keeping.
Venkatesh Iyer was unable to make anything of his debut, but has enough potential to be persisted with at least for the rest of this tour. R. Ashwin did not contribute much with bat or ball, despite taking de Kock’s wicket, but Shardul Thakur burnished his credentials further with a counter-attacking 50, albeit one that came too late to turn the game. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar both had indifferent games, and Kumar may well be replaced by Deepak Chahar. Yuzvendra Chahal threatened at times, but was ultimately played out comfortably by the South African batters.
South Africa won the first game comfortably and, frankly, should probably have won it even more comfortably but relaxed in the closing stages to allow Thakur and Bumrah to guide India to the close. But their win was based almost entirely on Bavuma and van der Dussen’s efforts with their top order offering little. Conversely, Dhawan and Kohli had India well-set in their chase, only for the middle order to collapse in a heap and cost them the game.
Ultimately, however, it was the South African batters and bowlers who looked more adept at dealing with the conditions. It will be a particular concern that, just as in the Test series, the Indian bowlers were unable to do any real damage with the short-ball whilst more than one Indian batter fell to short-pitched deliveries. If that trend continues, even on this relatively benign surface, expect South Africa to have wrapped the series up heading into the final match of the tour.
Prediction: South Africa win.
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