'He left his mark. There are no two ways about it': Gambhir reserves massive praise for promising 29-year-old Indian
- The home team, who has already taken a 2-0 lead in the ODI rubber, finished on 287 with de Kock scoring 124 off 130 balls.
Quinton de Kock struck an attacking century and Rassie van der Dussen continued his sublime form with a 52-run knock but India pulled things back towards the end to restrict South Africa below 300 in the third and final ODI of the series at Cape Town. The home team, who has already taken a 2-0 lead in the ODI rubber, finished on 287 with de Kock scoring 124 off 130 balls and equalling AB de Villiers' record of scoring the most hundreds against India by a South African.
De Kock and van der Dussen stole the spotlight during middle overs by forging an excellent 144-run partnership against a rejigged Indian team, which had new faces like Deepak Chahar, Jayant Yadav & Prasidh Krishna in their bowling artillery. Krishna plucked three wickets to end up with 59 for three but Chahar ran through the opposition top-order, plucking two early and bowling a seven-over spell.
Chahar, who recorded bowling figures of 2/53, had opener Janneman Malan caught behind with just eight runs on the board. Playing his first game of the series, Chahar, 29, bowled a delivery that move away from Malan and dismissed the right-hander for 1.
Chahar's second prey was Aiden Markram, who attempted a pull shot but failed to clear substitute fielder Ruturaj Gaikwad in the deep square leg region. Markram's departure left the hosts tottering at 70 for three in the 13th over.
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir was all praise for Chahar, who "left his mark" in the absence of seasoned bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar. A total of four changes were made from the Indian camp as Suryakumar Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Prasidh Krishna and Deepak Chahar came into the side in place of R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Venkatesh Iyer and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
"He delivered today with the new ball... and that's why he was in the team. It's hard to compare as the conditions in the previous two games were different. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has looked a bit off lately and the conditions in the first two matches didn't work in his favour. But credit to Chahar. Today's wicket had carry and swing & he bowled brilliantly. There are no two ways about it," said Gambhir on Star Sports in the mid-innings show.
Gambhir further also heaped praise on de Kock, saying that the left-handed South African doesn't lack clarity while playing attacking cricket. "He's got the clarity of the thought. He doesn't have any clutter in mind and the mindset is always set upon attack. He also has a wide array of shots. If a player has a bit of doubt while playing those shots, he doesn't look in rhythm. But there are no half measures in de Kock's batting... he was 100 per cent committed today," he further added.
De Kock got out to a Jasprit Bumrah (2/52) short ball, giving Shikhar Dhawan a simple catch at deep square leg and triggering his side's collapse. Yuzvendra Chahal then had van der Dussen brilliant caught by Iyer in the deep as South Africa folded for 287 with no significant contributions from lower order.