Virat Kohli became the first Indian captain to win a bilateral series (minimum two matches) against South Africa in the Rainbow Nation on Tuesday, February 13.
The Indian team crushed South Africa by 73 runs in the fifth ODI of the ongoing six-match rubber to take a winning lead of 4-1. | 5th ODI Full scorecard |
In their first-ever ODI series in South Africa in 1992, a Mohammad Azharuddin led side lost 5-2. Rahul Dravid led the Men in Blue in 2006 and they were crushed 4-0 in a five-match series. World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni had two shots at creating history but his team lost 3-2 in 2011 and 2-0 in 2013.
Kohli joins Misbah-ul-Haq in elite list
Kohli also became the second Asian captain after Misbah to win an ODI series in South Africa. Notably, the former Pakistan batsman had led his team to a 2-1 win against the Proteas in November 2013.
Congratulations India on a historic series win. The wrist spinners have been incredible and this win must be really sweet for Virat and the boys. Thoroughly outplayed South Africa #SAvIND— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 13, 2018
Congratulations to Virat Kohli and his Indian team on yet another stellar performance and a series win. This is Virat Kohli ‘s India and its a special team. Great great result. #SAvIND— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 13, 2018
Many Congratulations to the Indian Cricket team on their first bilateral series win in South Africa. Brilliant consistency and hunger throughout and winning this series overseas is just a sign of things to come. Special team #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/eISyJ6HzUN— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 13, 2018
India have now won nine ODI bilateral series on the trot, starting from the series win against Zimbabwe in 2016 and thereby have surpassed Australia's record of eight successive wins (between April 2009 and June 2010). West Indies are on top of the list with 14 consecutive wins, which they managed between 1980 and 1988.
India cement top spot in ODI rankings
With the emphatic win on Tuesday, India also consolidated their position at the top of International Cricket Council's (ICC) ODI rankings. The Asian giants had entered the six-match series in the second position on 119 points, two points behind leaders South Africa. After taking a 4-1 lead, Kohl's team moved to 122 points, while the hosts dropped to 118 points, according to the ICC.
Rohit stars with the bat, wrist spin demolishes South Africa again!
India rode on Rohit Sharma's maiden century (115 in 126 balls) in South Africa to post 274 on a sluggish St George's Park wicket on Tuesday. In reply, the visitors' wrist spinners once again troubled the opposition batsmen by picking up six wickets between them.
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have now picked up 30 wickets between them in the ongoing series.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer chipped in with handy runs (34 off 23 balls, 30 off 37 balls respectively) and stitched crucial partnerships with Rohit.
India could have added a bit more to their total if they had not lost wickets of Virat Kohli and Rohit at crucial junctures. Notably, the captain was run out on 36 and Ajinkya Rahane walked back to the hut after involving in a mix up with the centurion.
On the other hand, Hardik Pandya, whose poor form with the bat continued in Port Elizabeth, came back strong with the ball, picking up the important wickets of JP Duminy (1) and AB de Villiers (6). He also swung the match in India's favor in the 35th over by running out Hashim Amla on 71.
The two teams will now meet in the sixth and final ODI of the series in Centurion on Friday, February 16.