About the Match
India bounced back with a 22-run victory against South Africa in the second ODI to draw level in the ODI series after suffering defeat in the opening match; the two teams will now face-off in the 3rd ODI at Rajkot on 18th Oct. While there is fierce competition between the two sides, South Africa has dominated the hosts till now as seen in the T20 series win; India will have to work hard and pull up its socks to take a lead in the 5-match ODI series here. The contest will definitely see some fireworks across the park on Sunday; the team that can keep a cool head above its shoulders in crunch situations will have a better chance to emerge victorious.
Dhoni led the team from the front and mustered a smashing 92 off 86 deliveries to steer the total to 247 runs after the openers were dismissed; Rahane contributed well at No.3 with 51 off 63 while the middle order tried to support Dhoni with some good running between the wickets.
Defending the low total, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Axar Patel struck with 3 wickets each to demolish the Protean batting line-up; Harbhajan Singh came good with his spin bowling and took 2 important wickets to restrict South Africa from reaching the target. Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav provided quick breaks when needed but it was the spin attack from Patel and Singh that saw India win the crucial match.
Players like Raina, Kohli and Dhawan need to come out all guns blazing in order to build a strong total against the South African attack; with this victory they have received a much-needed morale boost and will surely try to keep a lead from here on with a win on Sunday.
Steyn and MorneMorkel struck with their pace attack and dismissed 5 opponents together; Imran Tahir’s 2-42 and Rabada’s single wicket ensured that players like Rohit Sharma didn’t go on the run-scoring spree. The bowlers put up a tough challenge to the Indian batting line-up as always and helped restrict the hosts to 247 runs.
However, the batsmen fell short by 22 runs despite a well-made half-century by Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock’s 34 off 36 balls in the top order. JP Duminy tried to revive the innings but his 36 off 46 and AB de Villiers’s heroics couldn’t help them cross the finish line.
Steyn and Morkel are in good form and they will be crucial to provide some bouncers and quickies that can put pressure on the opposition; their fielding is excellent and coupled with some good thinking by the captain, they can bounce back with a win again.
While South Africa is doing well in all departments of the game, their defeat in the last outing will put them in the back foot going into the next match. Indians on the other hand need to refine their batting skills and come out all guns blazing in order to outwit the visitors. Although the contest could swing either way, we feel that the men in blue will conquer the Proteans again