IND vs SA: India aim to deny South Africa a shot at equaling Pakistan's world record and achieve unique ODI feat
- South Africa managed to comfortably beat India in both the matches and now stand on the verge of scripting two huge records in ODIs.
This wasn't supposed to be the script, was it? For the first time in the history, it was the visiting Indian side who were considered the favourites in the tour. And big pre-tour predictions began to take the shape of reality following the historic win in Centurion last month. But like most other times, the hopes came crashing down after South Africa scripted a comeback like no other, to stun the mighty Indians in the Test series and then in the ODIs as well, leaving the Men in Blue seeking a consolation victory in the final game of the tour.
India lost the series opener by 31 runs in Paarl and then conceded an unassailable 2-0 lead with a seven-wicket defeat at the same venue two nights later. Fortunately, for India, the series isn't part of the ODI Super League hence a lot won't be at stake for the them in the final tie, but for a rebuilding South African side, a win in the final ODI would be the cherry on the cake.
They were without the likes of their two frontline pacers - Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje - with the entire hope resting on Lungi Ngidi in the pace department. Yet the hosts managed to comfortably beat India in both the matches and now stand on the verge of scripting two huge records in ODIs.
If South Africa beat India in the third match of the ODI series, it will be their 20th bilateral series, comprising a minimum three matches, where they have scripted a whitewash. It will be their first since 2020 against Australia at home. The tally will help them equal Pakistan's world record for most whitewashes in a series of minimum three ODIs. New Zealand stand third with 16 such victories.
For India, it will be the fifth time in ODI history that they have lost all the matches in a bilateral series (minimum three games). The whitewash will also make South Africa the second team in ODIs to repeat the same feat against India twice. West Indies had done it in a five-match series in 1983 in India and in 1989 at home. South Africa had achieved the feat in 2006 in a four-match contest at home. New Zealand is the only other side, having beaten India comprehensively in a three-match series in 2020 at home.
What adds to India woes is that South Africa own an impressive win percentage of 83.78 in Cape Town in ODIs, winning 31 of their 37 matches at the venue. The numbers are their best among all their home venues. However, two of their last three defeats at the venue where inflicted by India - by 2 wickets in 2011 and by 124 runs in 2018.