India secured their ninth consecutive ODI bilateral series after defeating South Africa on Tuesday. It was their India's first ever ODI series victory in the rainbow nation. The win came after a brilliant performance by Rohit Sharma and later Indian bowlers wrapped up the Proteas batting line-up.
Rohit Sharma, who scored a match-winning century said this victory is special. He said, “This will be right up there. After 25 years, we have won a series in South Africa. Not the easiest place to play cricket, definitely not the easiest place to win a series. We won the tri-series in Australia. Even that series was quite tough. For me, it is difficult to compare the two. I mean it is difficult to say which series means more but I think this series means a lot to us. The way we played from the first game, we have dominated the series.”
Rohit added this win will help them getting into a winning habit on overseas. “It was a dominant performance from us. It will only give us confidence as a team to go outside and keep winning those series,” said Rohit.
The Indian vice-captain thinks it's a collective effort to win the series. “Whatever series we have played before, in India and in Champions Trophy, a lot of the scoring has been done by the top three guys. It augurs well for the team. We always talk about batsmen batting through the innings. That is what we are trying to do. The top three have got the best opportunity because they get to play maximum balls. So our three’s responsibility is that if we are set then we have to try and play long.”
Rohit credited the bowlers for their outstanding performance, giving special mention to Hardik Pandya.
“It’s always good to have the cushion of that sixth bowler. Kedar has unfortunately been injured. That provided these guys a challenge knowing they don’t have anyone else to bowl those overs if needed. The confidence that they got from the last two games is immense. We have confidence in those five bowlers that we played. Hardik deserves special mention -- the way he came out and bowled in the middle, at the start, towards the end as well. He got crucial breakthroughs.”
This was a historic victory for the Indian team. Skipper Virat said it's a team effort that made history. “Only one team had the pressure of losing this series (South Africa). It is history and the guys have worked hard for it. Ever since the third Test in Johannesburg, it’s been a good time for us. It’s been a collective effort to create history.”