Virat Kohli, the owner of several records, has done it again. He has managed to do what no Indian captain could in the past 25 years in South Africa. Kohli's new record arrived thanks to the team's convincing nine-wicket victory over the Proteas in the second One Day International in Centurion on Sunday (February 4).
India first toured South Africa in 1992 for a bilateral series. Since then the Indian team has travelled to the "Rainbow Nation" six times (excluding the current one) but has failed to win a Test or ODI series.
This time around, there was a lot of hype around Kohli's men to end that 25-year drought. But that did not materialise as they lost the Test trophy 1-2. Now, the sides are competing in a six ODIs. This will be followed by three Twenty20 Internationals.
So far in the 50-over contests, India have dominated the South Africans, who have been hampered by the absence of star batsman AB de Villiers and skipper Faf du Plessis due to injuries. De Villiers is ruled out for the first three ODIs while du Plessis played the first game but is out for the remainder of the rubber.
India succeeded in the opening ODI by six wickets after Kohli's 33rd ton. Yesterday, the hosts' batsmen came a cropper against the wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (5/22) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/20). They were bowled out for 118 and India won with plenty to spare.
This is only for the second time that India have managed to win two consecutive bilateral series ODIs on South African soil. The last time it happened was in January 2011. MS Dhoni-led India won by one run in Johannesburg and followed that with two-wicket victory in Cape Town.
In terms of bilateral ODI series in South Africa, skipper Kohli has equalled Dhoni's feat. However, Kohli is the first Indian captain to string together three wins in a row, across formats.
After losing the opening two Tests in Cape Town and Centurion, India salvaged pride by winning the third and final Test in Johannesburg. Now, India have completed a hat-trick of wins in South Africa, a feat which was not achieved previously in a bilateral tour.
India's hat-trick of wins in South Africa in bilateral series
3rd Test (January 24-27, 2018) - Won by 63 runs in Johannesburg
1st ODI (February 1, 2018) - Won by six wickets in Durban
2nd ODI (February 4, 2018) - Won by nine wickets in Centurion
Two consecutive ODIs in South Africa in the past in bilateral series
January 15, 2011 - Won by one run in Johannesburg
January 18, 2011 - Won by two wickets in Cape Town