Is the current Indian ODI team a complete package?
India have looked a different version of themselves in this ODI series, having completely outdone the South Africans. There is barely a department where the Indian Cricket Team has failed to perform. The spinners have impressed the most. While the middle order is yet to be tested, the top order, especially Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, have performed tremendously.
After two comprehensive wins against a weak looking South African team, everyone expected team India to make it 3-0 against the host and they did it easily by defeating them by 124 runs in a match where the Indian spinners again took 8 wickets making the African batsmen look like dummies.
It all started with a magnificent 160 by the Indian skipper who proved yet again that he is by far the best batsmen of this current generation. The innings also showed the level of fitness that Kohli has and the efforts that he puts in off the field to achieve them as he became the first Indian to score 100 runs by running in an ODI. he was ably supported by Dhawan at the other end who scored a breezy 76.
South Africa did get some late wickets at the end but Kohli made sure that the team reaches 300 on a wicket which would be turning at the later part of the innings. The noticeable part in Kohli's innings was the intensity with which he faced the bowling and never gave his wicket away even when he was suffering from cramps.
That intensity was rubbed on the Indian bowlers as well when they came out to defend the score; Bumrah again got the better of Amla who is completely out of form. The rest of the South African batting failed again in front of the two spinners who are probably bowling their best.
Much of the credit should also be given to Kohli for handling the spinners and not letting the South African batsmen get away with runs in all the 3 matches. In fact, his captaincy has gotten better with each and every game of this ODI series which is a big plus as he was under a lot of scrutiny before the tournament even started.
On the other hand, South Africa are looking out of place and completely clueless about their batting. They will, however, breathe a sigh of relief with the inclusion of AB de Villiers but it is yet to be seen if he is completely fit or not. The Proteas are just one loss away from losing the series and if that happens a lot of questions will be asked of the South African squad.
India also have their share of problems, Rohit Sharma till now has had a horrid run in South Africa and will be looking to score some runs in the remaining ODI's, The middle order also never got enough opportunities and it will be interesting to see their performance in case the top three batsmen fail.
India has never come so close to winning a bilateral tournament in South Africa and if they do win, this it will be a remarkable achievement not because they played good cricket but the intensity that they have shown in every match is tremendous. The team is echoing their captain's style and attitude with the way they are performing and this looks like an Indian team who will be very difficult to beat in near future.
A captain leading from the front, well-performing batsmen, wicket-taking bowlers, and sharp fielders; India look like the complete package. This bodes well for the team as the Indians prepare themselves for the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.