Despite getting tantalisingly close to the winning total, India faltered for the third and the final time in the ODI series as KL Rahul suffered a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of South Africa.
India made 4 changes to the side that played the second ODI at Boland Park. Venkatesh Iyer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin got the axe while India bolstered their middle order through the inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav and brought in an inexperienced Jayant Yadav to supersede Ashwin.
Deepak Chahar came in for Shardul Thakur while fast bowler, Prasidh Krishna filled in the boots of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The Indian bowling started on a decent note with Deepak Chahar chipping in with a couple of early wickets. However, Quinton de Kock had other plans for the Indian bowling contingency.
He joined forces with Rassie van der Dussen who stitched together a fine half-century to keep the Indian bowlers at bay. Once de Kock was bested by Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian bowling sprang to life as they brought the hosts down with minimal resistance.
Prasidh Krishna chipped in with three crucial scalps but proved to be expensive. Bumrah and Chahar plundered four wickets between them. With 288 to win, India had a rocky start to their innings with a quick departure of their makeshift skipper, KL Rahul.
Teetering at 18 for 1, Kohli and Dhawan played out another impressive stand to defy the South African infringements and added a decent 108 runs for the second wicket. Dhawan stitched a fine 61 before miscuing a pull shot against Phehlukwayo that was comfortably grabbed by de Kock.
Pant’s belligerent stance backfired as he was dismissed for a golden duck being caught by Magala. Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav stitched together a decent stand between themselves to allow India a brief respite.
Once Yadav was gone, it was just a matter of time before the hammer fell. Surprisingly, Deepak Chahar left the world in awe of his cricketing brilliance as hr counterpunched the hosts with a firestorm of his own.
As Bumrah played the perfect anchor, Chahar belted out a 33-ball-54 to derail the South African hopes. However, on the 34th ball of his innings, he failed to connect with a cutter from Ngidi and his valiant effort came to an unexpected end with Pretorious completing a fine take.
With the end of Chahar, hopes of India’s maiden victory under the captaincy of Rahul fizzled away. India was bundled out 4 runs short of the stipulated total and was whitewashed by an unstoppable South Africa. Twitter was left seething as Rahul failed to bag a solitary win under his leadership.
KL Rahul ~ 1st Indian Captain to Lose his 1st 4 matches#INDvsSAAdvertisement
— CricBeat (@Cric_beat) January 23, 2022
KL Rahul was preparing his first match winning speech in mind.
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) January 23, 2022Advertisement
Temba Bavuma as captain deserves lots of credit for this series win. He's been absolutely brilliant. #SAvsINDAdvertisement
— Cow Corner (@CowCorner183) January 23, 2022
Proteas !!!!! Well fought series.
— The Poppy Ntshongwana Show (@PoppyIsMyName) January 23, 2022Advertisement
— AfricaMthiyane 🇿🇦 (@Africa665) January 23, 2022
— _bhupsa (@bhupsa011) January 23, 2022Advertisement
What should worry India is they were found wanting in batting, bowling, fielding and tactics against an inferior team on paper but got exposed on the field of play. Sign of a team with a very low threshold of wining ambition whatever the talentAdvertisement
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 23, 2022
If the batting all-rounder isn’t available in the country, please try to groom the bowling all-rounders. Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur have put their hands up in style. #SAvInd
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 23, 2022Advertisement
Huge for South Africa. Huge. And very well played. Proper post-mortem for India now.Advertisement
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 23, 2022