About the Match
India fell short of the target by 18 runs during the chase in the 3rd ODI to surrender defeat against South Africa; the visitors have taken a 2-1 lead and will now try to win the 4th ODI at Chennai on 22nd Oct to seal the series. India’s batting line-up looked solid to chase 271 runs but the middle order couldn’t buck-up to provide the momentum and gave up the fight too easily. The upcoming match is very crucial for the hosts as it will decide the fate of the ODI series; the Proteas on the other hand have exhibited dominance yet again with bat and ball and will be eager to continue with their winning momentum.
The spinners once again struck with quick wickets, dismissing players like Amla and AB de Villiers for single digits; Mohit Sharma contributed with 2-62 to break partnerships and restrict South Africa to 270 runs. Harbhajan Singh, Mishra and Axar Patel took one scalp each to give regular breakthroughs in the first innings; the bowling department did well to limit the hard-hitting Proteas to an achievable total.
The chase started a tad bit slow with the openers Rohit Sharma and Dhawan posting a 41-run opening stand in 10 overs; Rohit went on to 65 off 74, which left Kohli and Dhoni to build the innings at a faster pace. While Kohli made 77 off 99, captain cool managed 47 runs before getting out to a quickie by Morkel. Raina and Rahane couldn’t step up and come up with the big runs, falling quickly without contributing at all; the lower order tried to play a useful knock but could get only to 252 in the end.
Although the bowling looks good, the batting line-up seems to be less confident during a chase as seen in the first and third ODIs; players like Raina, Rahane and Dhawan must pull up their socks and the Indians need to be determined to set big totals if batting first.
Quinton de Kock posted a smashing 103 off 118 to give the Protean innings a big boost batting first; Miller and Faf du Plessis contributed with good nicks wherein the latter made 60 off 63 deliveries. Although Amla and AB de Villiers didn’t impress with the bat, players like Behardien, Duminy and Steyn took the total to 270, which the bowlers managed to defend with ease.
Morkel’s 4-39 sealed it for them as he dismissed well-set batsmen like Kohli and Dhoni to pressurise the Indians; Duminy and Imran Tahir spun their way into the batting line-up to take one scalp each and restrict the hosts to 272 runs, helping them win the match by 18 runs.
The young Kagiso Rabada has been very impressive with the ball and looks good to come back stronger; Steyn too didn’t get a wicket but his experience on these conditions make him a big asset to the team. Overall, they look positive to continue with their good performance and take the series.
While South Africa definitely has the upper hand after taking a 2-1 lead, India will not take this defeat lightly; the contest could surely swing either way but we feel that the hosts will bounce back to draw level on Thursday