With India charged up and with two frontline batsmen of South Africa ruled out due to injury, Kohili’s boys have a chance to wrap up the series.
At the start of the one-day series, South Africa were high on confidence as they had won the Test series 2-1. Even though they got defeated in the final test match, the 17-match winning streak at home in ODIs would have boosted their morale.
But this didn’t go the Proteas way as they had the first blow before the series. Their key batsman AB De Villiers was ruled out of the first three ODIs initially as he suffered with finger injury. Test opener Aiden Markhram was named as his replacement.
Team India won the first one day very easily by 6 wickets as Virat Kohli smashed his first ton in South African soil. The only batsman that looked better for SA was their skipper Faf Du Plessis. He scored a brilliant hundred to take SA to a respectable total.
Another big blow for SA came just at the end of the first ODI as Du Plessis was ruled out of the series with a broken finger. Faf had the injury while trying to take a difficult catch of Kohli in the second innings of Durban ODI. He will not be playing rest of the one dayers.
Playing only his third ODI, young Aiden Markram was given responsibility to lead the side. The second ODI at Centurion turned out to be a nightmare for the Proteas. The home side was bundled out for 118 as Chahal took his first five wicket haul finishing with 5-22. His spin duo Kuldeep took 3-20.
The availability of AB De villiers has not yet been confirmed. The fourth and the pink ODI will be played at Wanderers, Cape Town. AB has a great record in the pink ODIs. This ODI is set to be played on 10th February, 2018.
Now, the main concern for the South African team is to bounce back quickly and they have to do it from the third ODI. They just can’t wait for the arrival of AB (if he comes back) in the fourth ODI. That will be too late if India wins the 3rd one dayer too. Then SA has to win all the next three ODIs to draw the series which will become even more tougher.
With two back to back wins in the first two ODIs India are well and truly in the driver’s seat and are favourites to win the series. If they win the series 4-2 they will push SA down to number 2 to become number one in ICC ODI rankings. So the series is curtains down for South Africa and “advantage India”.