India outclassed in all three departments by South Africa in 1st ODI

(Cricket news) South Africa won the 1st ODI against India by 31 runs. After winning the toss and electing to bat first the Proteas scored 296 runs thanks to centuries by skipper Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen. The pitch was on the slow side with uneven bounce. There was movement for the seamers with the new ball. Timing the ball was difficult but Bavuma and van der Dussen managed to stay on the crease long enough to get their team above the par score.


India started really well but the partnership proved to be very costly. They failed to take wickets in the middle overs and gave away too many runs towards the end. KL Rahul's captaincy came under the scanner as despite playing Venkatesh Iyer as a 6th bowling option he did not use him even though his other bowlers were having an average day. Questions were raised as to why didn't India play a pure batter instead of Iyer if he never planned on giving him the ball.


India's chase started well with Shikhar Dhawan playing his naturally aggressive game. The visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli got off to very good starts but couldn't convert it to big scores. India in the end fell 31 runs short despite Shardul Thakur's fifty towards the end. India would have chased the total if one of Dhawan, Kohli and Pant played a big knock. 


India's fielding was also not up to the mark as Shreyas Iyer dropped a catch. There were a lot of midfields and overthrows. KL Rahul's captaincy was also questionable. Throughout the South African innings the fielding was very orthodox and didn't look attacking. The true vulnerability for India is that apart from Ravindra Jadeja there is no other proper all-rounder in the side and that is the case not just in ODIs but across formats. There is no player in and around the squad who is capable of bowling 10 overs and contributing heavily with the bat apart from Ravindra Jadeja now that Hardik Pandya is not in contention. Washington Sundar may be that guy but he hasn't got a long run in the ODI format. The other big issue is that none of the batters is part time bowler. Virat Kohli doesn't bowl like he used to before and none of the other batters are capable of bowling 4-5 overs when needed.


India may look at a few changes in the 2nd ODI. Despite scoring a 50 Shardul Thakur was below par with the ball. India might be looking to give Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj or Prasidh Krishna a go in the side. Ruturaj Gaikwad has scored way too many runs recently to be sitting on the bench therefore KL Rahul might have to bat in the middle order after all to give Gaikwad a chance.

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