Ajinkya Rahane India
Ajinkya Rahane played a great knock in the middle overs of the gameReuters

The Indian team put up a splendid display against the South Africans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, as they defeated one of the favourites of the ICC World Cup 2015 by 130 runs.

The men in blue looked strong in all departments of the game, batting, bowling and fielding. They played as a unit, which helped them cruise to victory against the Proteas for their first World Cup victory against the African nation.

Prior to the game, India had never defeated South Africa in their last three World Cup outings, but 2015 edition of the tournament changed it all.

"It was an outstanding win. India outplayed South Africa in all the departments. The most important part of the victory was fielding. It was a complete performance by Team India," Kris Srikkanth told IBNLive.

It was Shikhar Dhawan who played an important role in helping India win with his score of 137 runs. It was his highest score in the ODIs as well and he won the man of the match award for his effort with the willow.

Apart from Dhawan, the elegant right hander Ajinkya Rahane looked a busy player during middle overs of the game along with some lusty hits for six as well. He scored 79 runs.

It was primarily these two batsmen who took the game away from the Proteas in the middle overs. 

"We have been talking about their fearsome fast bowlers, and our batsmen, especially Rahane and Dhawan, treated them with disdain. Rahane's knock was crucial, and I am very happy for Shikhar Dhawan also. He played to his strengths. He really understood what his strengths are," Srikkanth said.

The former Indian opener was all praise for both the batsmen. Very few would have given Dhawan another chance after his pathetic performance in the tri series and the Test series, but MS Dhoni showed faith in him.

"Dhawan's first knock against Pakistan was very important. His confidence is back after that knock at the Adelaide Oval. The best thing I liked about Dhawan's innings today [against SA] was that he carried himself through till 44 overs. He took up the responsibility, which is very, very important.

"Rahane is an extraordinary player. He can play shots all round the wicket. He batted brilliantly and provided what India required today [Sunday] against South Africa," he said.

The Indian team have gradually started to peak with all their players contributing to the win. Still, India cannot take it easy and needs to build momentum for the competition.

India take on United Arab Emirates on 28 February in their next match at WACA, Perth.

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