In Stats: Chahal, Kuldeep Run Riot as South Africa Hit Record Low
The Indian team notched up their third consecutive win on their ongoing tour of South Africa, when – following the win in the third Test in Johannesburg and the first ODI in Durban – they also defeated hosts by 9 wickets in the second ODI at Centurion.
Having decided to bowl first, the Indian bowlers – led by the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav – destroyed South Africa’s batting line-up and skittled the home team for 118 – their lowest total in an ODI at home.
In reply, the Indian batsmen knocked off the runs required in 20.3 overs – in the process registering their most convincing win against South Africa.
South Africa were without their two-best batsmen – AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis – and that reflected in their performance on Sunday morning. The South African camp must be disappointed at the lack of application; very few batsmen could point to being dismissed by good deliveries. The shot selection left a lot to be desired.
Five batsmen got off to starts, but not one converted it to a big score; the highest score in the innings was JP Duminy’s 25. The lack of application can also be illustrated from the fact that the hosts did not even bat out their allotted quota of overs and were bundled out in 32.2 overs.
The first wicket took time coming; it was in the tenth over that India struck for the first time, when Bhuvneshwar Kumar had Hashim Amla caught behind. Starting that wicket, South Africa would lose 10 wickets for 79 runs in a period of 97 minutes. Spectacular collapse, one could say.
Not surprisingly, it was the two wrist-spinners – Chahal and Kuldeep – who caused the bulk of the damage; not that they dished out wicket-taking deliveries as it would come out of a factory assembly line.
It was one of those days when the duo did their routine stuff – land the ball in the right areas, toss the ball up, throw in the variations – and reaped the rewards. Barring David Miller and Kagiso Rabada, each of the spinners’ remaining six victims were guilty of playing bad strokes. Even bad balls – longhops – produced dismissals.
The leg-spinner Chahal returned India’s most successful bowler – collecting career-best figures of 5-22; it was the first time a wrist-spinner had taken 5 wickets in an ODI in South Africa. Kuldeep – who collected two wickets in his very first over – walked away with figures of 3-20 from his 6 overs.
If one were to study the young careers of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, one could establish why wrist spinners are generally considered ‘wicket-takers’. Over their careers – comprising 19 ODIs for Chahal and 16 ODIs for Kuldeep – they’ve picked up 3 wickets or more in an innings in 5 matches and 6 matches respectively.
In fact, there have hardly been days when the duo has had nothing to show for their work on the field; Chahal has gone wicket-less in only 3 matches, while Kuldeep has gone without anything in the wickets column only twice.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are special talents and the Indian team management would do well to protect them and use them intelligently.