Virat Kohli’s troops made the whole country proud by becoming the first Indian side to register a bilateral ODI series victory on South African soil. India beat South Africa by 8 wickets in the sixth and final ODI to clinch the series 5-1.
During the course of the ODI series, South African batters have been found out against India’s wrist spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The spin twins claimed 33 wickets out of the 64 Proteas wickets that had fallen in the 6 ODIs. Moreover, the fast bowlers also did their job to perfection.
Reflecting back on the team's triumphant show, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar highlighted the awe-inspiring performance of Indian bowlers and also admitted that they were the ones who delivered the knockout punch to re-write the history.
“The thumping win in the one-day series over South Africa in South Africa has never been achieved before by previous Indian teams with far more illustrious names than in this team. Not that those teams did not have self-belief and confidence, for they held their own, but were simply not able to deliver the knockout punch. For Virat Kohli that knockout punch has come from his bowlers, who have bowled superbly throughout this tour and destroyed the South African batting,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for TOI.
The Indian bowling attack had also taken 60 wickets in the three Test matches wherein the fast bowlers had caused most of the damage.
“Even in the Test matches, it was the first time that the Indian bowlers took all 60 wickets to fall. It was just the batting in the fourth innings of the first two Tests that was unable to measure up to the South African attack, that too mainly because the skipper for a change got out early,” Gavaskar further wrote.
“The new-ball bowlers have been superb and the spinners were such a joy to watch. To see the South African batsmen ducking under snorters from Bumrah, Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has made all the years of doing the same and watching other Indian batsmen doing the same meltaway,” he elaborated.
Hailing Virat Kohli’s brilliance with the bat to take India to newer heights, the 68-year-old wrote: “Not only is he creating records with the bat virtually every day, but also leading the Indian team to newer heights.”
Having registered an emphatic ODI series win, Team India will now take on South Africa in a three-match T20I series, starting on Sunday (February 18). With the change in format, Gavaskar is expecting a better show from the hosts.
“Now the ultra-short format is upon us. South Africa have a new skipper in JP Duminy, who is an experienced hand in this version of the game. The Proteas will be looking to salvage some face after the drubbing they have received in the one-day series,” Sunil Gavaskar concluded.