Key takeaways from first ODI between South Africa and India
India sustained their winning momentum from Johannesburg, as Virat Kohli's hundred helped the tourists register their first ever win against the Proteas at Durban. The win helped India take a 1-0 lead in the Freedom Series.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss at Kingsmead, South African skipper Faf du Plessis compiled an outstanding hundred to bring about his team's revival after they had been reduced to 134/5 against the wily spin of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, and took them to a competitive 269/8.
The South African skipper's effort went in vain though, as India, buoyed by a record-breaking third wicket stand between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, strolled past the finish line with six wickets to spare.
Here's a look at some of the key takeaways from the first ODI:
#5 Hardik Pandya's role as fifth bowler
Virat Kohli went in with an attacking option of playing two wrist spinners in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, which meant Hardik Pandya had to fill in as the third seamer alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
He didn't have the best of starts though as Quinton de Kock and du Plessis targetted India's weak link from the outset, taking him for 18 runs in his third over. That forced Kohli to turn to Kedar Jadhav's innocuous off-spin to fill in, and he bowled three unsuccessful overs for 19 runs. Kohli brought Pandya back after South Africa had been reduced to 134/5. The move didn't make any impact though as he once again proved expensive, failing to complete his quota of ten overs yet again.
Though the wrist spinners made up for India's lack of a fifth bowler, Kohli and the team management need to define Pandya's role moving forward.