It was a disappointing end to the one-day series for India. They had a great chance to score a whitewash against the South Africans for the first time, but they preferred to rest their key players and tested out the bench strength, which resulted in a rather one-sided victory for the Proteas. Yet, the matter of the fact was that India won the series rather handsomely and there were some memorable performances even in such a short series. Presenting a rewind of top three performances of the series.
Game 1, Jaipur
Jadeja’s all-round act (22 and 2/29)
In a high-scoring game, where most of the batters were at ease, it was Ravindra Jadeja’s tight left-arm spin that made the difference. The Indian pacers, Ashish Nehra and S. Sreesanth went for plenty, and though they did pick up three wickets among themselves, they also ensured that South Africa stayed in the hunt. On the contrary, Jadeja not only kept the runs down, but also picked up two wickets, crucial ones at that, to derail the Proteas’ chase of 299. He cut short one-day specialist Herschelle Gibbs’ promising knock and later cleaned up AB de Villiers, who was also looking dangerous.
His cameo with the bat towards the fag end of the innings also came in handy, considering that India ended up winning by a solitary run, thanks to a late surge by the African tail. Jadeja is certainly turning out to be a good utility player for India.
Game 2, Gwalior
Sachin makes history (200 not out)
This was Sachin Tendulkar’s show all the way. Virender Sehwag fell early after India won the toss and batted. But, that did not deter the Indian master. He went on the rampage from the word go and the carnage did not stop till the very end. Come pace or spin, Sachin had an answer to every trick of the South African bowlers. He cut, pull, drove and lofted the bowlers with disdain on a ground that seemed too small for the Indian giant.
Dale Steyn, who destroyed India in the opening Test, was despatched for 89 from his quota of overs. Worse, Wayne Parnell went for 95. The others weren’t spared either. Charl Langeveldt went for a somewhat respectable 70 while Kallis and Duminy combined to leak over the 80. The Sachin magic was very much at display in Gwalior.
There were other handsome contributions in the game as well. Dinesh Karthik registered his highest ODI score of 79 while Dhoni slammed a hurricane like 68 not out. A B de Villiers too impressed with his sublime ton, but the match with undoubtedly be remembered for the indelible Sachin Tendulkar touch.
Game 3, Ahmedabad
de Villiers winning ton (102 not out)
The series was gone. However, the South Africans still had a lot to play for. After all they had never been blanked by India in a one-day series. And that record will stand, albeit with a little help from India themselves. They decided not to field a full-strength and de Villiers decided to take full toll of the inexperienced Indian attack. His 59 ball 102 included 11 hits to the fence and 3 over it. It was as if he was avenging the humiliation meted out to them at Gwalior, with great support from skipper Kallis.
The Indian bowling figures read similar to those of the Proteas in the previous game. Here was Sreesanth’s chance to lead the attack, but he failed miserably, conceding 83 in nine overs. As such, much couldn’t be expected from rookies Sudeep Tyagi and Abhimanyu Mithun. All were slammed. The de Villiers magic was in full bloom and the Indians had no answer to it.
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