ICC World Cup 2015: India vs South Africa - Player ratings
1992, 1999 and 2011. India’s wait to register a win against South Africa in a World Cup game finally ended after 19 years. What it brought was a lot of joy to the faces of the Indian supporters who thronged the MCG in thousands. While South Africa’s aura of invincibility got heavily damaged, India sent out a message that they were here to compete. Here is how players from both the teams fared in the match:
Rohit Sharma – 2/10
One of the only three Indians to have scored an ODI century at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Rohit Sharma added to his woeful first game by not contributing anything to his team’s victory. After spending more than ten minutes at the crease, he got himself sloppily run out without troubling the scorers.
Shikhar Dhawan – 9.5/10
There was very little that one could expect out of Dhawan before the World Cup began. But after his performance in the recent games, including the warm-up, one can confidently say that the Delhi batsman has regained his mojo.
The innings that he played in front of the packed house knocked the wind out of the tournament favourites. Scoring heavily behind square, Dhawan unleashed his mustachioed madness against Steyn & Co with the help of sixteen fours and two sixes. In the field, he committed himself to saving every run and also held on to two catches.
Virat Kohli – 8/10
Virat Kohli’s knock had more value than what is reflected on the scorecard. Like in the game against Pakistan, he came in early, facing what promised to be a menacing attack. He not only steadied the ship with Dhawan, but also ensured that the ones and the twos kept coming.
In no time, Kohli, alongwith Dhawan had strung together a partnership worth 127 – their second consecutive hundred run stand. It’s a pity that Kohli got out just when he looked like taking off.
Ajinkya Rahane – 9/10
In terms of the impact that it had on the game, there’s very little to differentiate between Rahane’s knock from Dhawan’s. Quite contrary to the way he is perceived, Rahane went after the bowling from the word go and not for once allowed Kohli to be missed.
Scoring nearly 50 runs in front of the wicket, he was particularly aggressive against Wayne Parnell – scoring 29 off the 16 balls bowled to him by the left-arm pacer. His 79 runs from 60 balls in a high pressure game made sure that India’s middle overs were highly productive, and somewhat compensated for the lack of big shots in the end overs.
Suresh Raina – 4/10
The southpaw had an ordinary day in the field. First, he got out trying to play a pull that he was being set up for, and later he missed a simple run out opportunity of Hashim Amla. The only consolation was that he held on to JP Duminy’s catch at slip quite efficiently.
MS Dhoni – 8/10
Skipper MS Dhoni showed why captaincy is his strongest suit, yet again. After his brief cameo with the bat, he came on to the field resolute and determined. The decisions that he took on the field were masterstrokes – be it in placing the field, switching his bowlers or laying out traps for the South Africans, he was clinical to say the least.
Usually unexpressive, Dhoni leapt in the air when de Villiers got out, telling us just how much winning this game meant to him.
Ravindra Jadeja – 6/10
Although Jadeja bowled well, getting done with his overs quickly and bowling stump to stump – his inability to hit big in the death overs will be a cause of concern for India. But where Jadeja misses out on scoring, he compensates by saving those extra runs while fielding.
Ravichandran Ashwin – 8/10
After his performance against Pakistan, Ashwin was the bowler to watch out for in the Indian camp. And it looks like he has carried forward his form big time. He gave away very little while he was bowling, and took quick wickets in the end to destroy any possibilities of a South African counter attack. Nearly six overs worth of dot balls came from Ashwin’s bowling, making him invaluable to the current India setup.
Mohammed Shami – 8/10
Eight overs, one maiden, two wickets for thirty runs. These were the bowling figures of 2014’s highest ODI wicket-taker. Shami has by far been the most improved Indian bowler on display ever since India’s tour to Australia started in end-November last year.
Throughout the game against South Africa, he consistently hit the 140-mark, and didn’t shy away to bounce the batsmen. It’s always fun to watch a bowler steaming in to bowl even in the final moments of the game. One such bowler is Mohammed Shami.
Mohit Sharma – 8/10
Often in the shadow of his more illustrious bowling partners, Mohit Sharma has gone about doing his job of a third seamer perfectly well, second time in a row. Not only did he pick up two crucial wickets at the top of the order, he also effected a run-out that saw the back of the ever so dangerous AB de Villiers. With Bhuvneshwar still recovering from injury, looks like the Haryana pacer has found himself a permanent spot in the Indian lineup.
Umesh Yadav – 7/10
Umesh Yadav started off the innings well, putting in some tidy overs with Mohammed Shami, but soon found himself to be at the receiving end of du Plessis and de Villiers’ counter attack. The most memorable moment involving Yadav today was the run out of David Miller that brought an end to any hope of a South Africa fightback.
Hashim Amla – 4/10
Hashim Amla carries with him a sense of calmness wherever he goes, and hence, it was obvious that people expected a lot out of him during South Africa’s tall chase. A pillar of South Africa’s recent ODI successes, Amla was edging and being beaten around the bat for quite some time early on in his innings. Maybe those were ominous signs of a dismissal to follow.
While fielding at backward point, he dropped a catch of Shikhar Dhawan, well before the left-hander created the havoc that he did. In all, quite a forgettable day for the Protean monk.
Quinton de Kock – 3/10
Quinton de Kock is perhaps South Africa’s go to man whenever they face India in ODIs. But today was not to be the same. Although the twenty-something did an impressive job behind the stumps, he was edgy and impatient right from the start of his innings. The shot which he played to get out too was reckless and deprived his team a much needed platform for the chase.
Francois du Plessis – 7/10
All the while that du Plessis batted, not for once did it seem that the Proteas were going to be handed out as big a thrashing as they did eventually. MS Dhoni’s Chennai IPL teammate, du Plessis, hung around for more than an hour and a half enroute to his half-century. While he was brilliant in spurts, the magic wasn’t sustained as he fell cheaply to Mohit Sharma’s bowling. It was an innings of promise but not a great one, unlike the catch that he took to dismiss Kohli.
AB de Villiers – 7/10
The South African captaine executed two brilliant run outs on the field and stitched a 68 run partnership with his school mate, du Plessis. But all of that just wasn’t enough given India’s performances on the day. There was a phase in the match when South Africans in the crowd were hoping for a better contest, but all of that ended when de Villiers got run out thanks to a good throw from Mohit Sharma in the deep.
David Miller – 4/10
Unlike his performance against Zimbabwe, David Miller failed to flatter against a stronger Indian bowling unit. His stay in the crease was exciting, but lasted only 45 minutes when clearly more was needed from him. 22 off 23, wasn’t going to win South Africa the match.
JP Duminy – 3/10
One can’t blame Duminy for having to fill in for an injured Philander. But one can blame him for attempting a cute shot when all that he needed to do was build a partnership. He was South Africa’s last hope, and after his dismissal, everyone else around him fell like a pack of cards.
Wayne Parnell – 2/10
Being your team’s fourth highest scorer doesn’t compensate for the poor bowling that you put in. A lesson that Wayne Parnell would’ve learnt at the end of the MCG game. He bowled all over the place, going for nearly ten an over.
Dhawan, Rahane and Dhoni – all had a go at him with strike-rates ranging from the 120s to 300. Four wides and two no-balls speak volumes about his indiscipline on the given day.
Vernon Philander – 1/10
The real cause of South Africa's worries on Sunday, Philander's missing six overs caused a lot of headache to AB de Villiers. Add to that his zero contribution with the bat. Injury or no injury, it was a forgettable day for this fast-bowler.
Imran Tahir – 7/10
Imran Tahir was one of the better performers from South Africa with respectable match figures of 1/48 from his ten overs. The wicket that he took came at a crucial time, and broke a very dangerous looking partnership between Kohli and Dhawan. With the bat, he tried to hang around, but eventually managed only 8 runs.
Morne Morkel – 6/10
Morne Morkel was expensive, but eventually was responsible for India’s fizzle towards the end overs. His wickets of Dhoni and Raina ensured that South Africa were given a target of just above 300, and not 350.
Dale Steyn – 7/10
Although the world’s best fast bowler was taken to the cleaners by his IPL team-mate, all wasn’t lost as he bowled some superb overs in the death. Constantly hitting the blockhole and eventually extracting Rahane’s wicket were two of his brightest takeways from the game on Sunday.