But just as they did last time out in Cape Town, Dhawan and Kohli settled the tourists with a 158-run partnership that looked set to punish South Africa. Then wickets kept falling, I chose to hit out, because I thought I might not have enough energy left. It’s not something that happens every time. You can push your body beyond limits that you might not push yourself otherwise. Kohli will hope his team get their A game back on in the next ODI because this certainly wasn’t it.
Opting to bat, India put up 289 for seven in the stipulated 50 overs. So that just changed up their lengths, and it suits me a little bit better. The stylish cricketer blasted spinners, who have been troubling South African batsmen for long to mark his authority. When he goes, you take that role up and another guy rotates strike.
The hosts reached 43 for one in 7.2 overs in their reply when rain swept across the ground, keeping the players off the field for just shy of two hours.
India, who had won the first three ODIs, now have a 3-1 lead in the six-match series.
With the series on the line, South Africa’s batsmen finally turned up and won a game for the home side but it would not have been possible without a generous dose of assistance from a sloppy India.
Kohli promised to up the ante in the remaining three games. Focussing on today and how we are going to go about. That is certainly something that lifts the team even more.
Kohli stamped his authority as he continued to punish the South African bowlers. The two sides will next play the fifth match at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on February 13. Chahal, on the other hand, is yet to get a call-up in the five-dayers. They have been doing very well, more than well for us. And the left-arm wrist spinner did not disappoint. Especially against good spinners, it’s hard to hit them down the ground if you don’t use your feet well.
Dhawan may have missed attending the national anthem on the field but he didn’t go missing while scoring a hundred.
“I don’t have words to explain this”. It was hit out or get out and with nearly nothing to lose, Klaasen and Miller indulged in batting that was very near maniacal. If it was a full game you never know. No one could have had a ideal night as a spinner in these conditions.
It’s always wonderful to see a cause get support in sport. Part-time Jean-Paul Duminy delivered four overs of spin but, expectedly, didn’t look like taking a wicket. If India do not go on to win either of the next two matches, they could find themselves ruing the costly no-ball and the dropped catch preceding it. It was back to Chahal after that and he gave up nine runs.
Overall, on a tough night for the spinners, when no attempt was made to protect them, they stuck to their guns against some, and made some errors against others. The two lives that Miller got seemed to spur him into action. They lost all wickets in 130 runs where Villiers scored highest 35 runs for the team. Kohli has thus far scored 393 runs in the series with the scores of 112, 46*, 160* and 75 in the first four ODIs. “The game got shorter and it worked in their favour, having to go after the bowlers”.
Then, AB de Villiers’ quickfire cameo of 26 off 18 balls came to an end when he was caught by Rohit Sharma at fine leg from Hardik Pandya and he was followed by Miller who was trapped in front by Yuzvendra Chahal. “Massive massive confidence booster for us”, Klaasen said.