South Africa v India, 2nd ODI, Durban December 8, 2013

South Africa cruise to series win


Cullinan: India not playing like a No. 1 team

South Africa 280 for 6 (De Kock 106, Amla 100, Shami 3-48) v India 146 (Tsotsobe 4-25, Steyn 3-17) by 134 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

India made significant changes to their bowling attack, played on a surface far more suited to them than the Wanderers was - a slower Durban track - and showed some improvement from Thursday, but the end result was still the same. They conceded too many runs to South Africa's opening pair and their own top order were shot out to leave the series decided with a game to play.

South Africa, in fifth place on the ICC's one-day rankings, will consider this a major coup. AB de Villiers had slammed suggestions they were underdogs because of India's position at the top of the list, because he believed home conditions would give his men a sizeable advantage. He has been proved right.

With minimal time to adapt to South African surfaces, India's batsmen have yet to present the technique required to prosper against pace and short-pitched bowling while their seamers have yet to get a measure of the lengths required of them. Mohammed Shami was again the most impressive of the pack, using the slower bouncer and yorker to good effect but even with turn on offer, India could not stop Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, who both scored centuries.

They paced their partnership to perfection, starting fairly slowly, milking the bowling, scoring with ease and then accelerating at the right times. In the process, Amla became the fastest to 4,000 ODI runs, achieving the feat in 81 innings, seven quicker than Viv Richards. De Kock's hundred made him only the third South African, after Amla and Herschelle Gibbs, to score back-to-back centuries in ODIs, and maintained his 100% conversion rate of fifties into hundreds at this level.

De Kock offered one chance early on. He was on 13 when he edged off Shami but the ball fell short R Ashwin at first slip. Apart from that, de Kock and Amla's partnership was flawless. They scored all around the field and by the 11th over, Dhoni was already searching for options.

He introduced spin but Ashwin and Suresh Raina posed little threat. He tried the medium pace of Virat Kohli, which was also ineffective. With the South African batsmen in no rush and runs available, India were facing a total in the region of 300.

Boundaries were not a priority for either Amla or de Kock - they did not hit a single six - but they found them on occasion. De Kock seemed the more aggressive but Amla's strike rate was just as high. Both reached their half centuries off 57 balls before de Kock overtook Amla.

His third hundred came with a single off Ishant Sharma and he looked to up the ante. He swept Ashwin, hoping to clear square leg, but found Rohit Sharma to end his second successive century opening stand with Amla on 194.

Given their platform, South Africa chose to send AB de Villiers in at No. 3, instead of Jacques Kallis, but the plan backfired. De Villiers was stumped after stretching forward to hit Ravindra Jadeja down the ground and he became the second wicket to fall in the second Powerplay.

It was in that period that India pulled South Africa back. Ravindra Jadeja was the architect of the stranglehold as he spun the ball and varied his lengths cleverly. Between overs 35 and 48, India gave away only 66 runs and dismissed JP Duminy, David Miller and Kallis, who was sent in at No.6.

All that unraveled when Ryan McLaren and Vernon Philander took 20 runs off the final over to set up a competitive target. By the ninth over of the reply, the game was up.

Shikhar Dhawan began the demise when he cut a Dale Steyn ball to backward point, Virat Kohli was undone by a slightly short Lonwabo Tsotsobe ball that he he tried to play to third man but sent to the keeper, Rohit Sharma also succumbed to that length, finding Hashim Amla short midwicket when he tried to pull, and Ajinkya Rahane chased a short, wide one and was given caught behind - though replays suggested he might have missed it. At 34 for 4, India would have known they were unlikely to get the runs required, so they needed the rain.

A drizzle began to drip in the 16th over and South Africa brought on JP Duminy to speed things up and get to 20 overs. The rain grew heavier in the 19th over and Vernon Philander was racing back to his mark to complete it. With the fifth ball, he had Dhoni push at one just outside off, de Kock dived to his right and took the catch one-handed to end the Indian challenge.

The only thing that made it worse for them was that the heavens closed and they had to bat out the rest of the innings against a South African attack that has been relentless. That India lost their 10th wicket at the same time South Africa had lost their first showed just how differently the two innings had panned out.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manesh on December 11, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    @sdqs_23. They leveled a series last time.

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    @ Dravid_Sachin_Gravitas_Atheist you are right that everybody looses away matches, but India looses more if we take into account the top 4 nations in cricket. Pakistan could easily be in the top 4 so I would not want to exclude them as well. India are not a bad team, but need to up their game in foreign conditions. India should equip their players with the necessary skills by getting a few venues where the ball does a bit.

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    There is a reason people are making a big fuss when India looses. Its because the fans of the Indian team makes as if they are invincible before a series and just to be shown how good they really are. Before this series it was said that India would whitewash SA in the ODI's by +90% of indian fans. After seeing what they did against Australia in that series on those docile wickets. When SA scored 350 plus runs the arrogance came through and we had posts like that score is easy and they will chase it down no fuss. How this series brought them back to earth. Showed where there batsmen were in this world game. Average batsmen with weak techniques who average above 50. Lets take amla for instance. He is averaging more than 100 in indian conditions, but fans say he is not good on turning wickets. This is the reason why other countries fans are so against india. They have too much arrogance for their own good.

  • Sanjay on December 11, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    @ Salman Khan on (December 9, 2013, 10:51 GMT) India has won more ODIs overseas than in India this year. Beat every team in Champions Trophy in England and then beat Windies in the Caribbean and Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe. Its not flawed ICC ranking but more so flawed factual info that Pakistan fans have. Could all Pakistan fans please make comments based on facts rather than wishful thinking. You lot are the only ones who think that the number one team should be Pakistan who cant even beat Afghanistan or Zimbabwe in away games!lol

  • Srinivas on December 11, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    @Greatest Game, so what's your point? Is it a sin to lose from 2007-2013 and a virtue to lose in 2006 and before? I don't get it! Try something else. Intellectual Honesty please - is India the only team that loses overseas? Answer my question. Come up with facts and figures. Not just deep hopes, deeper opinions and deepest wishes.

    Next, @ everybody else, I was talking about test series only in my previous post. ODI is cricket too, as we all know. Now, I don't even want to go there - be it SA or Australia or England or Pakistan or.............I'm sparing the double standard trolls from their self-inflicted embarrassments. Cheers!!!

  • Srinivas on December 11, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    People are confirming and reconfirming that India loses overseas series as though India is the only country that loses overseas. I thought of bringing some facts, as opposed to opinions, to the fore. The following is the list of overseas series losses for SA since their readmission into international cricket:

    vs WI in 91/92, vs India 96/97, vs Australia 97/98, vs England 98, vs Australia 2001/02, vs Pakistan 2003/04, vs Sri Lanka 2004, vs India 2004/05, vs Australia 2005/06, vs Sri Lanka 2006

    Righto, is SA immune to overseas losses? No. Is Australia immune to overseas losses? No, we beat them when they were at the top and the brown-washes are common place to this day. Is England immune to overseas losses? No. What about Pakistan and Sri Lanka? No. So, why do people say that India can't win overseas and that India can win only in India? May be that's what they desperately wish to be a fact. No matter how hard they squint, their baseless opinion can't become a fact. Simple as that!

  • David on December 10, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    @ Dravid_Sachin_Gravitas_Atheist. I have no idea what you are going on about? SA have not lost an away series in 8 years. Eight years!!!!! India were beaten away and at home by England within 18 months!

  • uncle bob on December 10, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    Very well said Dravid_gravitas.

  • Srinivas on December 10, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    People are making it to be a big deal whenever India loses overseas but the same people go quiet when other teams lose overseas. Didn't SA, England, Australia lose embarrassingly overseas? SA have the dubious distinction of not just losing but choking time and again. Do I mean to say it is ok then for India too to lose overseas? No. People are going hammer and tongs when India loses but it seems it is ok for the other teams to lose overseas. I'm pointing out the self-contradictory drivel and double standards of such trolls. I'm proud of my team and I want them to win in alien conditions too. Looks like the haters aren't proud of their respective teams and so it is ok for them if their respective teams lose overseas. As soon as their teams lose overseas, the pitches suddenly become difficult dustbowls as opposed to their claims that subcontinent pitches are batting paradises. Their teams losing overseas is not due to lack of skills to play spin but due to doctored dustbowls!

  • David on December 10, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    @ Anand Palwankar confidently writes "It will be on track very soon. Sudden complete changes in playing conditions is the problem ... BCCI should think it seriously next time how important some practice games are..."

    It will not get on track. India is no match for SA.

    The problem is not "sudden changes in conditions," but that Indian cricket is played in the easiest batting conditions possible. Success will come when Indian cricket is played on real pitches - not flat tracks.

    You write, " BCCI should think it seriously next time how important some practice games are…" Unfortunately, BCCI rejected CSA's schedule, which included the PRACTICE GAMES you say India needs, a longer ODI series allowing MORE TIME for Indian players to adapt to conditions, & games in stadiums with conditions MORE SUITED to India. Truly, the BCCI were offered EXACTLY the schedule you say the Indian team needed!

    It wil not get on track this time, but hopefully the future will see better India tours.