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South Africa vs India 2018: 1st ODI, 5 things we learnt from the match

Kohli-Rahane and Kuldeep-Chahal helped India gain an early lead in the One Day series.

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10 02 Feb 2018, 00:22 IST
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India v Zimbabwe - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
Kohli and Rahane hammered down a listless South African bowling attack

A formidable 189 run partnership between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane led India to a comfortable win over South Africa in the first ODI of the six match series at Kingsmead, Durban. Selected over Shreyas Iyer, Rahane cruised into fifth gear in no time with his skipper batting as nonchalantly and effortlessly as he is known to from the other end. The target of 270 that was set seemed pretty below-par and Kohli's 33rd ODI century made things even easier.

Earlier, the hosts were propelled to 269 courtesy a Faf du Plessis special after Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal spun a web around the Proteas' fidgety middle-order. Chris Morris gave du Plessis quite a good hand, as South Africa redeemed themselves before surging towards the end and posting a competitive total on board. It, however, proved to be rather mediocre for India's run machine.

Here are the 5 things that we learnt from the match.


#5 India's wrist spin magic works everywhere

Chahal and Kuldeep had been at the heart of India's brilliant 2017 in ODIs
Chahal and Kuldeep had been at the heart of India's brilliant 2017 in ODIs

While Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were mesmeric on Indian wickets that were tailor-made for them, their effectiveness on the grassier outfields of South Africa were questioned. Playing both of them seemed together seemed an absolute no-no until Virat Kohli, with his strange insights, decided to play upon South Africa's weakness against spin.

To say that the ploy was an instant success would be an understatement. Chahal sent back a sorely out of touch Quinton de Kock and added Aiden Markram to his bag, while Kuldeep Yadav, in exceptional rhythm, ran through South Africa's middle-order reducing them to 134/5 at one point. He returned to prize out Chris Morris and break a threatening stand between him and the skipper, Faf du Plessis.

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