Choking is definitely an unwanted aspect in cricket which top teams tend to avoid. Team India however, is getting accustomed to choking and making a mess of games which they should easily win. The third ODI between India and South Africa was another instance of team India ruining easy things for themselves as the visitors won the game by 18 runs.
South Africa batted first, and considering their position in the middle overs, got to a reasonably below par total of 270-7 in 50 overs. For the visitors, it was wicketkeeper opener Quinton De Kock who played a splendid knock, fighting cramps and the heat in order to get to his 7th ODI ton. Towards the last few overs of the South African innings, the Indian spinners took control and made life very difficult for the visiting batsman.
For India, the opening was not a desired one as the Shikhar Dhawan struggled big time. Rohit Sharma was flawless and got to yet another fine half century. Sharma however, was once again involved in a soft dismissal as he gave an easy return catch to JP Duminy.
Virat Kohli got to a half century after 12 innings and finally looked reasonably well set. However, the stand between Dhoni and him from 31-40 overs slowed down immensely. That handed South Africa the momentum and from then, the Proteas bowlers never looked back. Some irresponsible batting from the hosts did not help their cause as well.
The third ODI eventually ended with team India pondering a lot over their strategies for the upcoming games.
Below, are the statistical highlights from the third ODI.
1. 3. The number of runs scored by Suresh Raina in the series so far.
2. 3.60. India’s run rate between overs 30 to 39.
3. 35. The number of dots played by team India between overs 30 to 39.
4. 35.45. South Africa’s average opening stand in ODI’s in 2015.
5. 137. The number of stumpings MS Dhoni has to his name in international cricket.
6. 4. Quinton De Kock scored his 4th ODI ton against India.
7. 4. The number of times Morne Morkel has dismissed Shikhar Dhawan in ODI’s.
8. 7. The number of 50+ scores by Rohit Sharma in 2015.