The six-match ODI series in South Africa can definitely be called Virat Kohli's series. He ended the rubber with a mammoth aggregate of 558 runs with three centuries, one fifty and an average of 186. He was not out in three of the six matches, and once he was run out. Kohli was easily at his best in this ODI series. He scored centuries in successful chases. He batted throughout the 50 overs in the third ODI batting first and scored 100 runs only from running. Even the bowlers did not seem to trouble him much. It was only Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo who could get him out, once each.
Kohli became the first batsman ever to score over 500 runs in a bilateral ODI series. He went past the previous record of 491 runs by Rohit Sharma against Australia in six matches in 2013-14 series. Before this, the most any batsman has scored in a series against South Africa was Kevin Pietersen in six innings in 2004-05, when he made 454 runs. Kohli is also the first India batsman to score three centuries in a bilateral ODI series and only the second to do so against South Africa after Pietersen in 2004-05. Apart from Kohli, who has scored 558 runs, only one batsman scored over 200 runs in the series - Shikhar Dhawan (323).
This series also saw wristspinners rise to the top, with Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal troubling the host batsmen. The young duo managed 33 wickets between them - 17 by Kuldeep at an average of 13.88 and 16 by Chahal at 16.37. This is the easily the most wickets taken by India spinners in a series and also the most by any visiting team in a series in South Africa. On contrast, South Africa's spinners, took only one-eleventh of wickets taken by India spinners. The host spinners struck only thrice and averaged 128.66 per wicket.
All other India bowlers combined only for 41 wickets in comparison to 33 wickets by India's wrist-spinners. There were eight three-wicket hauls in the series and out of which six were by the two India spinners - four by Kuldeep and two by Chahal. Lungi Ngidi and Shadul Thakur were the only others to pick three-fors.
India's top three dominate
Kohli, Dhawan and Rohit Sharma accounted for 1051 runs between them at average of 75.07 with five centuries and three fifties. They contributed 76.32% of the runs scored by India batsmen. The other India players could add only 326 runs at an average of 25.07.
On the other hand, the top three South Africa players scored only 538 runs at an average of 29.88 which included a century and two fifties. They contributed only 46.98% of runs of the runs scored by South Africa batsmen. Never had South Africa bowlers conceded over 1000 runs to opposition's top three batsmen in any series. The previous highest was 958 runs in VB tri-series 2005-06 which had Australia and Sri Lanka as the other teams.