- India suffered a crushing defeat in the first match of the three-match series against South Africa.
- Rahul has failed as captain in the first match while he is being included in the contenders for Test captaincy
- In the second ODI match, Team India will try to level the series 1-1 by registering a win.
India, traumatized by a loss in the first match, will have to perform better in the second ODI on Friday, which will also test the captaincy of KL Rahul if they want to keep the three-match ODI series alive. Rahul failed as captain in the first match and now that he is being included in the contenders for Test captaincy, there will be a lot at stake for him in this series.
The Indian batsmen also put up a disappointing performance in the first match as the team lost by 31 runs. Since the time Virat Kohli was the captain, the performance of the middle order has been a matter of concern for India, whose solution is yet to be found. Opener Shikhar Dhawan made a good comeback with a half-century. He raised India’s hope with Kohli but as soon as this partnership broke, the Indian middle order was shattered on a slow pitch.
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South Africa topped India in both skill and strategy and thus Rahul disappointed as captain. The most important question is what was he doing in the team if Venkatesh Iyer didn’t have to bowl. Why was Venkatesh not used as the sixth bowler when Yuzvendra Chahal and Shardul Thakur were dominated by Rasi van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma. If Venkatesh is playing as a specialist batsman at No.6, why not include Suryakumar Yadav, who is experienced and bats better under pressure.
Another question that arises is whether Rahul spoke to Chahal or Ravichandran Ashwin when Van der Dussen and Bavuma started playing sweep shots. Rahul also did not make such changes in the bowling that it seemed that he is strategically skilled. In contrast, South Africa opened the bowling from Aiden Markram and he was successful in dismissing the Indian captain. After this, when India were batting, their defeat was ensured after the dismissals of Dhawan and Kohli. Suddenly the pitch which looked easy to bat turned difficult.
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Shreyas Iyer’s struggle against short pitch balls continued. They should understand that making a place in the Indian XI is not easy and thus an opportunity cannot be missed. Rotating the strike on this pitch is essential. In such a situation, the role of Rishabh Pant and both Iyers will be important.
All three disappointed in the first match. They need to understand their responsibility. Shardul Thakur scored a half-century at a time when India’s defeat was fixed and there was no pressure. However, he will be judged by bowling which is his main job. Thakur failed to bowl. He conceded 72 runs in 10 overs, which caused a loss to the team.
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Bhuvneshwar Kumar also disappointed on his return. The spinners also created a difference between the two teams. Ashwin and Chahal conceded 106 runs in 20 overs and took one wicket. For South Africa, Markram, Tabrez Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj played 26 overs, conceded 126 runs and took four wickets. Indian spinners need to do better in the next match. Now all eyes will be on Rahul’s captaincy in both the matches. Test captaincy is more challenging than limited overs and performance in these matches can go against Rahul’s claim.
The teams are as follows:
India: KL Rahul (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Famous Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Siraj, Jayant Yadav, Navdeep Saini.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wk), Zubair Hamza, Marco Janssen, Jaaneman Malan, Sisanda Magala, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Andile Felukvayo, Dwayne Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada , Tabrez Shamsi, Rasi van der Dussen, Kyle Verne.
The match will start at 2 pm Indian time.
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