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Analysis

Red-hot South Africans have a point to prove

Though South Africa haven't lost a match in 19 ODIs, their record against India in India is quite ordinary

Cricinfo staff
15-Nov-2005
  • Over the next couple of weeks, India will attempt to do what no other team has managed in nine-and-a-half months - beat South Africa in a one-day international. Since England beat them by 26 runs on January 30, 2005, South Africa have remained unbeaten in 19 games, winning 16 of them and tying one, while two were interrupted by the weather. Their winning streak is especially amazing considering their stats just before they embarked on that run - in 13 earlier matches, they had lost 12. (Click here for South Africa's results in their last 32 matches.)
  • Longest undefeated streaks
    Team Undefeated matches Period Captain
    Australia 21 Jan-May 2003 Ricky Ponting
    South Africa 19 Feb 2005 - Graeme Smith
    Australia 14 Jan-March 2000 Steve Waugh
    England 12 May 1991-March 1992 Graham Gooch
    New Zealand 12 Feb-Sept 2004 Stephen Fleming
  • Graeme Smith has played a big hand in these wins, not only with his captaincy, but also with his batting at the top of the order, averaging nearly 50 in those games. However, South Africa are without two of the batsmen who have been quite vital to their success - Herschelle Gibbs has averaged almost 56 in the 15 games he has played in this period, while Boeta Dippenaar played only six of those games, but scored 327 runs at 81.75.
  • Makhaya Ntini has been the stand-out bowler with 31 wickets from 16 matches, but Andrew Hall has been the unlikely hero, with 15 wickets at just 16 apiece. Nicky Boje has also played his part well, and in the subcontinent, his absence might well be a significant one, especially since Robin Peterson, his replacement in the squad, has taken nine wickets in 21 matches at 69 apiece. Also, the two big stars in their team, Jacques Kallis and Shaun Pollock, have only contributed modestly to those wins.
    South African batsmen during the winning streak
    Matches/ Runs Average Scoring rate
    Herschelle Gibbs 15/ 724 55.69 81.53
    Graeme Smith 16/ 774 51.60 84.13
    Justin Kemp 19/ 518 47.09 119.08
    Ashwell Prince 18/ 419 46.56 71.75
    Mark Boucher 19/ 344 38.22 100.58
    Jacques Kallis 15/ 492 37.85 69.59
    AB de Villiers 10/ 147 14.70 66.82
    South African bowlers during the winning streak
    Bowler Matches/ wkts Average Economy rate
    Andrew Hall 9/ 15 16.27 68.73
    Makhaya Ntini 16/ 31 18.84 74.78
    Charl Langeveldt 12/ 19 25.37 84.12
    Andre Nel 16/ 23 26.57 80.82
    Nicky Boje 12/ 11 34.81 4.10
    Shaun Pollock 16/ 13 41.77 71.26
    Jacques Kallis 15/ 7 47.00 86.81
  • South Africa enjoy a 28-16 advantage against India, but in the 15 matches in India, they have lost nine times.
  • Surprisingly, in the age of the ODI overdose, India and South Africa have played each other just ten times in the last five-and-a-half years. South Africa have won five times and lost four (with one washout), but three of the victories have been at home. The last four matches have been in the subcontinent, and the South Africans have won just once, and lost twice.
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