After his team’s eight-wicket win over South Africa in the first ODI, Indian skipper KL Rahul said it was great to finally win in the country after losing three ODIs as captain last year. KL’s men took a 1-0 lead in the series, beating South Africa by eight wickets in the first ODI in Johannesburg on Sunday. Arshdeep Singh’s five-wicket haul and fifties by debutant Sai Sudarshan and Shreyas Iyer were the main highlights for the Men in Blue.
Last year in South Africa, India lost the ODI series against the Proteas here 3-0, losing two close matches by 31 runs and four runs and the other by seven wickets.
“Lost three ODIs as captain here last time. Good to get a win here in SA today. Plans were to bring the spinners into the game but there was a lot of help in the wicket early and the boys [pacers] bowled really well. (Chopping and changing players in the XI, especially the bowling attack) This is just the way cricket has been played for the past few years. You have to rest some players, you prioritize one format every now and then. Now it’s T20s and Tests. But we want to take guys who are doing their best. Everyone is doing well in first class and IPL too, so good for them to get a taste too,” said KL in the post-match briefing.
Coming to the match, the Proteas chose to bat first. But Indian pacers Arshdeep and Avesh Khan proved this decision fatal for the Proteas. Only De Zorzi (28 in 22 balls, with two fours and two sixes) and Phehlukwayo (33 in 49 balls, with three fours and two sixes) could contribute anything decent as SA were bundled out for 116 in 27.3 overs.
Arshdeep (5/37) and Avesh (4/27) were the best bowlers for India. Spinner Kuldeep Yadav got one wicket for India.
Chasing 117, India lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) early but fifties from debutant Sai Sudarshan (55 in 43 balls, with nine fours) and Shreyas Iyer (52 in 45 balls, with six fours and a six) game India with over 33 over to over.
Wiaan Mulder and Andile Phehlukwayo got a wicket each.
Arshdeep took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
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