Report Card: How Virat Kohli & Co. Fared in South Africa
Virat Kohli was the pick of the Indian players, along with the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Virat Kohli and his boys made history by winning their first One Day International series in South Africa along with the T20I series.
It has been a great comeback by the Indian cricket team. After losing the Test series 2-1, the side did well to register convincing wins in the limited-over formats.
Kohli was the pick of the Indian players, along with the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Here’s a look at how some of the Indian players performed on the South African tour:
As expected Captain Kohli did bulk of the scoring for the team in both Tests as well as ODIs.
Kohli was the top-scorer among both the sides in the Tests with 286 runs from six innings at an average of 47.66. He was the lone centurion in the Test series as all batsmen from both the sides struggled with the bat. Kohli scored 153 in the first innings of the second Test at Centurion.
If the Test series was the trailer, Kohli decided to release his blockbuster during the ODIs where he scored three hundreds in six matches. He ended up scoring 558 at a massive average of 186. His highest score of 160 not out came in the third ODI in Cape Town. During the ODIs Kohli became the first batsman to score over 500 runs in a bilateral ODI series. His heroics with the bat single-handedly won the series for India.
Kohli had a very silent T20I series where he had to skip the final match due to a stiff back. Before that he managed scores of 26 and 1.
After the captain, Shikhar Dhawan scored the most number of runs with the bat for the side.
If you take away his performance in the lone Test that he played, the south paw did decent with the bat.
After being dropped in the first two Tests, Dhawan returned to the side in the third Test in Cape Town where he failed to impress with the bat managing a score of only 16 in each of the innings.
Dhawan had a great outing during the six-match ODI series where he managed scores of 35, 51 not out, 76, 109, 34 and 18. He was the second highest run getter with 323 runs at an average of 64.6.
In the T20I series, Dhawan to took the mantle from Kohli as he topped the list with 143 runs at a strike rate of 153.76, which include an innings of 72.
Rohit Sharma: (6/10)
Rohit Sharma was in the eye of the storm since the beginning of the tour. Him getting the nod over Test-specialist Ajinkya Rahane was the talk of the cricketing world for the entire length of the Test series. India losing the first two Tests further worsened his cause.
With so much going on, it was never going to be easy for Rohit. In the first two Tests that he played, he managed scores of 11, 10, 10 and 47. After the second Test he had a paltry average of 19.50 and was thus replaced by Rahane for the third one.
In the ODI series also, his performance was dismal, barring a century in the fourth match in Port Elizabeth. Apart from one century, Rohit didn’t manage to cross the score of twenty in the rest of the series. With 170 runs in six matches at an average of 28.33, Rohit has surely seen better days. It wasn’t only about failing to spend more time on the crease, Rohit never looked fluent with the bat in the entire series.
In the T20I series also Rohit managed a mere 32 runs in three matches.
P.S. One extra mark for the century.
After much furore, Ajinkya Rahane did get a chance to play in the third Test in Johannesburg but he failed to capitalise on the opportunity. He did exhibit his talent in the short span he spent on the crease during the third Test, but a dearth of runs didn’t help his cause.
In the solitary Test he played, Rahane managed scores of 9 and 48.
However, his ODI campaign in South Africa took off with a great start after he scored a match-winning 79. Coming at number four, Rahane partnered the skipper ably to guide India to a 6-wicket win in the first ODI in Durban.
After that innings, it all went south for the batsman, who managed scores of 11,8,8 and 34* in four innings.
Rahane wasn’t part of India’s T20 squad.
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal
India’s new spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal had a gala time bowling to the South African batsmen in the ODI series. In fact, they were able to replicate Kohli’s form but with the ball.
The two managed to take 33 wickets in the six-match ODI series, which means that Kuldeep and Chahal together accounted for 62 percent of the South African wickets that fell.
Kuldeep ended the series with 17 wickets at an average of 13.88 and economy of 4.62. With 17 wickets, he broke the record of most wickets taken by a spinner in any series in South Africa surpassing 14 scalps by Muttiah Muralitharan in 1998.
Chahal ended the series with 16 wickets at an average of 16.37 and economy of 5.02.
33 wickets taken by the duo is also the most by India's spinners in a bilateral series.
Kuldeep didn’t play a single game in the T20 series and Chahal had a pretty ordinary series, where he went for 64 runs in his 4 overs without a wicket in the second T20I in Centurion.
Like always, this time too Bhuvneshwar Kumar was consistent with his performance all throughout the South African campaign.
Barring the second Test and last ODI, both played in Centurion, Bhuvneshwar featured in all the games for India and did well for the team.
In the Tests, he picked up 10 wickets in the two matches he played at a healthy average of 20.3.
Bhuvneshwar ended up with only two wickets at an economy of 6.09 in the five ODIs he played.
It was during the T20I series, when the bowler had his moment of redemption. In the first T20I in Johannesburg, he took a five-wicket haul for 24 runs, thus, becoming the first Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul in all formats of the game. He ended the T20I series with seven wickets at an economy of 6.09.
Jasprit Bumrah had a dream Test debut in South Africa. With 14 scalps in three Tests against South Africa in their own backyard, he couldn’t have asked for a better start to his Test career.
At an average of 25.21, Bumrah was the second-best bowler after Philander and Shami, who had 15 wickets each.
Bumrah was the third-most successful bowler in the ODI series after Kuldeep and Chahal, picking up 8 wickets in six matches at an economy of 3.97 runs per over.
In the T20Is, Bumrah just managed to pick up a single wicket in the two matches he played.
After an initial fizzle in the first Test with the bat, Hardik Pandya was practically absent from the rest of the matches in the tour.
Pandya was the second-highest run-getter for India in the Test series after Kohli. He managed to score 119 runs in three Tests, courtesy 93 runs in the first innings of the first Test in Cape Town. In the rest of his innings he managed scores of 1, 15, 6, 0 and 4.
With the ball also, he failed to do much. He picked up only three wickets at an average of 54 in the three Test matches he played.
Pandya continued his sorry form in the limited-over format. In four innings, he managed only 26 runs and picked up four wickets in six ODIs.
In the T20I series, Pandya couldn’t do much with the bat. He scored 34 runs in his two innings. With the ball though, he managed to make a dent in the South African batting. He picked up four wickets in three T20Is.
It hasn’t been a great tour for Mahendra Singh Dhoni with the bat.
Apart from his innings in the second T20I, Dhoni has nothing much to show as far as his batting is concerned in the series.
In the four innings he played, he managed to score 69 runs, with the highest being 42 not out in the fourth ODI in Centurion.
In the T20 series, Dhoni scored an unbeaten 52 in the second T20I in Centurion. After a long time, fans were able to witness Dhoni – The great finisher. Unfortunately, the runs came in a losing cause as India lost the second T20I. Dhoni scored a total of 80 runs in the three T20Is.
As far as wicketkeeping was concerned, like always, there was no reason for the team to crib about Dhoni’s performance.
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