India won their first ever ODI series against South Africa in South Africa after they won the fifth ODI at the St. Georges Park in Port Elizabeth by 73 runs. India have been formidable in the limited overs format in the last 12 to 18 months and have faced minimal competition from any team they faced.
The last bilateral series they lost was in 2015 when they lost to South Africa at home. India’s ongoing tour of South Africa started very poorly as they lost they first two Tests and many critics thought that just like previous team, this Indian team will also falter on an away tour. However, Virat Kohli and Co. had some other ideas as they picked themselves up from the two losses and went on to win four consecutive matches.
India won the third Test in Johannesburg and then won the first three ODI’s but then their winning run was halted in the Pink Day ODI in Johannesburg where the Proteas made a comeback and kept the series alive.
The South African team has struggled after the first two Tests and the management has failed to lift the team’s morale up and find out the issues.
Let’s have a look at the reasons why the home side has struggled even after winning the Test series-:
South Africa has been unlucky as some of the key players have got injured just before the start of the ODI series. With AB De Villiers ruled out of the first three ODIs’ the team suffered another shock when their skipper Faf Du Plessis was also ruled out of the ODI series due to a finger injury after the first ODI. The team suffered another blow when their wicket-keeper batsman Quinton De Kock was also ruled out of the ODI and T20 series.
Struggles against the Wrist Spinners
The Proteas middle order struggled against the Indian spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Chahal has picked up 12 wickets in the five matches and Yadav has picked up 16 wickets in the five matches. The spin duo has picked up 28 wickets in all and has been the main architects of South Africa’s dismal run in the ODI series. Except for the fourth ODI which the home side won, the South African batsmen have been unable to read the two wrist spinners.
Dominance of Indian batsmen over African Bowlers
The Indian top order has been in exceptional form in the ODI series and has thoroughly enjoyed dominance over the South African bowlers. Virat Kohli has scored two centuries in the five matches while both the openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have a century each to their name. The South African fast bowlers have been unable to challenge the Indian top three. Only Kagiso Rabada has looked impressive while all the other bowlers have been below par.