After an abysmal showing on Indian soil in the latter half of 2019, South Africa will look to come out all guns blazing when they take on India in a three-match ODI series, beginning on 12 March in Dharamshala.
The last time the two sides squared off, the Proteas were no match for the mighty Indians, who went on a rampage in their den and inflicted a 2-0 T20I series defeat, followed by a 3-0 clean-sweep in the longest format of the game.
Although India did win their previous home ODI series against West Indies and Australia, the scoreline on both occasions read 2-1, something that doesn’t comply with the dominant brand of cricket skipper Virat Kohli advocates. Besides, the wounds from a 0-3 ODI series drubbing against New Zealand are still fresh for the Men in Blue.
The Proteas, on the other hand, will enter the contest on the back of a drawn (1-1) home ODI series against England and a morale-boosting 3-0 clean sweep of Australia.
Nevertheless, the No 2 ranked Indian side would definitely start as favourites against the No 4 ranked visitors, given the familiarity with the conditions and their recent run on home soil.
But before this mouth-watering ODI series gets underway, we take a look at the five memorable ODI clashes between the two sides:
India vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Jaipur, 21 February, 2010
In a match that went down to the very last ball, it was India who held their nerve to register a one-run win against the visiting South Africans in the first ODI. The hosts had clinched the three-match series 2-1.
After being put in to bat, India posted 298/9 on the board, thanks to Suresh Raina’s 58, a knock bolstered by six fours and a maximum, and handy contributions from Virender Sehwag (46) and Dinesh Karthik (44). Jacques Kallis, the pick of the South African bowlers, finished with three wickets and an economy rate of 4.14.
In reply, it was Kallis again, who top-scored for the Proteas with a gutsy 89, while Loots Bosman (29), Herschelle Gibs (27) and AB de Villiers (25) squandered their starts. India made light work of the remaining Proteas batsmen until No 9 Wayne Parnell (49) and No 10 Dale Steyn (35) put on a spirited fight that almost took their side home. Parnell was run out on the final delivery of the match and fell short of levelling the target by one by one run.
Praveen Kumar, S Sreesanth and Ravindra Jadeja picked up two wickets apiece but Jadeja was adjudged the Man of the Match for a stupendous economy rate of 2.90 and chipping 22 runs with the bat.
India vs South Africa, 2nd ODI at Johannesburg, 15 January, 2011
The Men in Blue got the better of Proteas by one run in yet another low-scoring thriller. Both teams were evenly matched throughout the five-match series but the hosts clinched the series 3-2.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, India were bundled out for a paltry 190 in 47.2 overs. Yuvraj Singh top-scored for India with a fighting 53. Barring him, Sachin Tendulkar (24), Virat Kohli (22) and MS Dhoni (38) did get starts but failed to capitalise on them. Lonwabo Tsotsobe, the pick of the South African bowlers, finished with a four-for and went for only 2.20 runs per over. Tsotsobe was assisted by Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, who scalped two wickets each.
In the second innings, Graeme Smith (77) was the lone warrior among the Proteas batsmen. Colin Ingram (25) and David Miller (27) showed a little resistance while the remaining batting line-up failed to make any sort of impact. The hosts were ahead as far as the asking rate was concerned but did not have many wickets in hand. Eventually, they fell short of the target by one run and were bundled out in 43 overs.
Munaf Patel led the Indian bowling unit with his match-winning four-for along with an impressive economy rate of 3.62 and was adjudged the Man of the Match.
India vs South Africa, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, 12 March at Nagpur
South Africa prevailed in a battle of nerves and defeated India by three wickets. By no means was this victory an easy one for the Proteas, who chased down the target with only two balls to spare.
Opting to bat first, India set a competitive target of 297 before South Africa. Sachin Tendulkar (111) and Virender Sehwag (73) provided the hosts with a solid foundation while No 3 batsman Gautam Gambhir (69) capitalised on the solid start given by the openers. Barring these top-order batsmen, however, the remaining line-up failed to deliver the goods. For the Proteas, it was speedster Dale Steyn, who led the bowling charts with a five-wicket haul and an economy of less than six runs per over.
In reply, the second innings too saw healthy contributions at the top of the order from Hashim Amla (61), Jacques Kallis (69) and AB de Villiers (52) but the rest of the batting line up chipped in with a few more runs, which ultimately proved to be the difference as far as the batting of the two sides is concerned. In the end, Faf du Plessis (25 not out) and Robin Peterson (18 not out) took the Proteas home with three wickets and two balls to spare. Steyn later bagged the Man of the Match for his terrific spell.
India vs South Africa, ICC Champions Trophy at Cardiff, 6 June, 2013
India got the better of South Africa (by 26 runs) in their high-scoring Champions Trophy clash at Cardiff.
After being put in to bat, India posted a mammoth 331/7 on the board. Shikhar Dhawan (114) top-scored for the Indians with a blistering ton, smacking 12 fours and a maximum. Rohit Sharma (65), the other opener, also looked in good touch during his stay at the crease. The incoming batters failed to make the most of the solid foundation, until Ravindra Jadeja (47 not out) steered the hosts towards a huge total. For the Proteas, Ryan McLaren and Lonwabo Tsotsobe finished with three and two wickets respectively but proved costly.
In reply, South Africa did cross the 300-run mark, thanks to handy contributions from Robin Peterson (68), AB de Villiers (70) and Ryan Mclaren (71 not out), but it just wasn’t enough as they fell short in their chase by 26 runs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja shared the scalps, picking up two wickets each.
Dhawan, the lone-centurion, later bagged the Man of the Match for his heroics with the bat.
India vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Kanpur, 11 October, 2015
The Proteas pulled off a nail-biting five run-victory against the hosts in the first ODI of the five-match series at Kanpur. Both teams were evenly matched throughout the series but it was the visitors who eventually won 3-2.
After opting to bat, South Africa set a competitive target of 304 before the hosts. AB de Villiers set the stage on fire with his unbeaten 73-ball 102, a knock studded six maximums and five fours. Faf du Plessis (62) also came to the party. It was a bad day at work for the Indian bowlers, seamers in particular, as all of them were taken for more than six runs per over. The spinners were economical in comparison but even they didn’t have wickets to brag about.
In reply, opener Rohit Sharma top-scored for the hosts with a blistering knock of 150 that included 13 fours and six sixes. Ajinkya Rahane (60) also chipped in with a half-century but there were no noteworthy contributions from the remaining batsmen as the hosts fell short of the target by merely five runs. In comparison to India, the visitors put on a more disciplined bowling performance, conceding less than six per over with the exception of JP Duminy, who went for nine runs an over from his four overs.
AB de Villiers was adjudged the Man of the Match for his quick-fire century.
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