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Who Said What: World reacts to India's nail-biting victory and series triumph

Arvind Sriram
SENIOR ANALYST
Feature
8.69K   //    25 Feb 2018, 01:31 IST

Enter captio

India claimed an incredible victory in the final T20I of the three-match series to end the South African tour on a high. Without regular skipper Virat Kohli in the side, the odds were in the hosts' favour as they looked to exact revenge for what was a horrid ODI leg, but Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina and Hardik Pandya propelled India to a competitive 172.

While South Africa got off to a poor start, debutant Christiaan Jonker's lusty blows at the end made sure it went down to the final over. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar held his nerve to seal a seven-run victory.

With this win, India return home with the ODI and T20I trophies and an overall positive head-to-head of 8-4, something many would have considered impossible following their disastrous start to the tour.

Here's how the cricketing fraternity reacted to India's sensational win:

JP Duminy: They bowled pretty well in the batting PP. We couldn't get the boundaries and the singles. We were 30 runs behind after that PP but in the end, we were behind by only 7 runs. Their slower and knuckle balls worked. Jonker, in his first game, to get us that close was a great effort. In this format, guys get the opportunity and they try and stake a claim. Great opportunity for guys to step up. We have learnt our lessons. Full credit to India. Outstanding white-ball tour. They gained a lot of confidence out of that win in the third Test.

Suresh Raina, Man of the Match: You need to show intent in the first 6 overs. When you get the ball in your area, you hit it (first-ball six). The way we played in Tests and One-Days, we looked so calm. Things looked up to the mark. Credit goes to the support staff, who gave us a lot of confidence to express ourselves. Bowling to two lefties after the 7th over gave me a lot of confidence. I have been working hard on my bowling, hopefully, you'll see more in the future.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Player of the Series: It's all about how you prepare yourself before every series. IPL has made Indian bowlers thinking bowlers. It's important not to give away too many runs in the powerplay. You had to keep it simple and of course, slower balls and knuckleballs were there. You hardly get wickets like these in India.

Rohit Sharma: To be honest, I thought we were 15 runs short. How the first half went, I thought we lost our way towards the end. It was a decent score and once again, the bowlers did it for us. We know how crucial it is for our top three to stay as long as possible. It has happened throughout the series. The last match, it was pleasing to see our middle order perform. Hopefully, we can move forward as a group in the coming games.

We discussed certain plans and it worked. We tried to keep the ball on the stumps. Their batsmen like width. So it made them go after the bowling after 6 overs. It was a complete bowling unit performance. Throughout the series, we showed a lot of intensity, which helped us get those crucial wins. We never backed down from whatever situation we were thrown in.



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Arvind Sriram
SENIOR ANALYST
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