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India vs South Africa: Five things Virat Kohli’s team did right in Durban win over Proteas

Virat Kohli (112) scored his 33rd century to lead India to a six-wicket win that not just helped them draw first blood in the six-match ODI series but gave them their first win over South Africa at Kingsmead in Durban after six losses.

cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2018 17:55 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Durban
India vs South Africa,South Africa vs India,Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane’s 189-run partnership guided India to a six-wicket win over South Africa in the first ODI in Durban. (AFP)

India pulled off their first ODI win over South Africa at Durban with some authority on Thursday. Here are five things that helped them take the early lead in the six-match series - (INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA FULL COVERAGE)

1) Read the pitch well

On match eve, Virat Kohli pointed out the Kingsmead wicket will aid spin, explaining his trust in wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. His reading was proved right as the two exploited the wicket and ran through the South Africa middle order, sharing five wickets. The Proteas batsmen lost scoring tempo and could not fully recover.

2) Ajinkya Rahane at No 4

After trying out other batsmen at No 4, and insisting Rahane will only be used as an ODI opener, Kohli finally brought him in thanks to his knock in the final Test at Johannesburg. Rahane hit 79 and added 189 runs for the third wicket with his skipper, leaving India on the verge of a historic win, which they achieved.

(Read | Virat Kohli equals Sourav Ganguly’s record of most ODI tons as India captain)

3) Spinners come to party

Both leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav throttled the batsmen and shared five wickets to dismantle the Proteas middle order. It had a huge bearing on the match as the hosts fell way short of 300, which captain Faf du Plessis had said was needed.

4) Virat’s knock

The India skipper’s purple patch with the bat continues. The way he paced his innings, slowing down one point and opening up later, never allowed the hosts to get a foot in the door. Du Plessis admitted Virat is the main man and getting him out will be the key as he is experienced in chases.

5) Tame the spinner

Before the match, Du Plessis had said leg-spinner Imran Tahir has been a game-changer. By blunting him and not allowing him to settle down, India have put pressure on the Proteas ahead of the next game at Centurion. To continue with Imran Tahir or bring in a pacer is the question that’ll be running through Faf’s mind.

First Published: Feb 02, 2018 16:59 IST