Super India reign supreme in SuperSport Park
Not often you find a touring Indian Cricket team 1-0 up, especially in the Rainbow nation, heading into the second ODI of a series. To sweeten the visitors' deal, the South African skipper and centurion from the first ODI, Faf Du Plessis, was ruled out of the remaining matches in the ODI & T20 series. With familiar conditions greeting the visitors from the sub-continent, the stand-in captain Aiden Markram should have heard the warning bells ringing.
After winning the toss and inserting the opposition in, India were frugal in the initial overs with hardly any width on offer for the batsmen to cash in. The culmination of dots and some disciplined bowling saw Amla losing his wicket towards the end of the first powerplay.
Once the wrist spinners were introduced, the game turned completely on its head. Markram and De Kock gifted their wickets away to Kuldeep and Chahal respectively. Then, it was a regular procession of wickets with Chahal in particular breaking the backbone of South Africa's batting with a 5-fer.
The target was never enough to threaten India as the visitors romped home in the 21st over with Shikhar Dhawan unbeaten with a half century and the Indian skipper for company. This victory was made special by the fact that this is the largest victory against South Africa in South Africa with maximum balls to spare. This is also South Africa's lowest score at Centurion, a dubious distinction which they could have done well without.
With the next ODI at Cape Town, India has a golden opportunity to make it 3-0 and ensure that they don't lose the series. A 3-0 scoreline before AB de Villiers's possible return to the South African team in the fourth ODI sounds much better. India has the resources to extend their dominance in the series and even go on to win it.
Will South Africa muster a counter attack and put one across India? How can Markram inspire his troops to get back to winning ways? Will the middle-order stand up and counter the spin threat of the wrist spin twins? We will get answers to all this and more come Wednesday when the teams face off in Cape Town. Who will blink first in Cape Town? Your guess is as good as mine.