Former Indian skipper Krisnamachari Srikkanth is of the opinion that the absence of Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis from the rest of the ODI series tilts the balance in favour of the visitors, and it shouldn’t be a contest and India should end up winning at least by a 5-1 margin.
In his column for the Times of India Srikkanth wrote,
“If the absence of AB de Villiers hurt the hosts, then the non-availability of Faf du Plessis, makes this almost a no-contest. From the start of the Test series I have found their bowling unit to be decent at best.”
India coasted to a comfortable six-wicket victory in the opening ODI at Kingsmead in Durban, courtesy a Kohli special and wonderful bowling by the wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
In the ongoing 2nd ODI India are placed in a commanding position, as they have bowled out the Proteas for a meagre 118 runs. Again it was the wrist spinners who wrecked havoc in the second ODI in Centurion, as they returned with eight between them with Chahal bagging a terrific five-wicket haul.
“India did well by fielding two wrist spinners. It is a risk worth taking as they are wicket-taking options. With Chahal and Kuldeep displaying excellent control, the pressure on the batsmen is always on, and that is one of the reasons why they are extremely successful as a pair,” Srikkanth, wrote in his column.
Srikkanth also lauded Virat Kohli for his 33rd ODI century and the 18th consecutive on successive run-chases.
“A sub-par target and an in-form Virat Kohli meant only one result from the word go. What continues to impress me is Kohli’s easy approach to batting, especially in chases. There is not a moment when he forces himself to bat out of his zone. I have never seen a batsman play only proper cricket shots and come out successful even when up against tough targets,” said Srikanth.
Before the match, Srikkanth had predicted a result in India’s favour, and at the halfway stage he seems to be bang on.
“In the shorter format, they [South Africa] are being exposed brutally. This is easily one of the weakest South African attacks, and the Indian batsmen should have a field day. In all probability, India should have their way in the second match as well,” he wrote.
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