India beat South Africa in first ODI

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  • Post published:December 18, 2023

Pace bowler Arshdeep Singh picked up his maiden five-wicket haul as India defeated South Africa by eight wickets in the first ODI on Sunday.

Left-armer Arshdeep took five for 37 and Avesh four for 27 as they rose to the challenge of representing an Indian team that featured only three players from the World Cup final last month.

Arshdeep had not taken a wicket in his previous three one-day internationals, while Avesh had only three in his previous five appearances.

South African captain Aiden Markram chose to bat on the pitch that was used for a Twenty20 international on Thursday, expecting the spinners to benefit later in the game.

However, the seamen received substantial assistance and took full advantage of it. Arshdeep took the first four wickets in a seven-over spell, and Avesh followed suit with four more in a seven-over spell.

South Africa broke the record for the lowest total in 55 one-day internationals at the Wanderers – 109 by Pakistan against South Africa in 1994/95.

“It was completely different to what we expected,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation.

“There was a lot of help in the wicket and the boys bowled really well.”

Kuldeep Yadav was the only spinner used, and he took the final wicket for three runs in 2.3 overs.

South African captain Aiden Markram stated that the seam bowlers received more assistance than he anticipated when he won the toss and chose to bat.

“Credit to the Indian bowlers,” he said. “There was a bit of lateral movement and we weren’t able to settle and build partnerships.”

India’s dominance demonstrated their depth in a match in which both teams were missing key players, including their front-line fast bowling attacks, ahead of a Test series beginning on December 26.

Arshdeep, who had not taken a wicket in three previous ODIs, and Avesh, who had three wickets in five appearances, rose to the occasion admirably.

In contrast, South Africa’s bowling looked ragged as they attempted to defend the second-lowest ODI total ever at the Wanderers.

In the second over, Arshdeep struck twice off successive balls, dismissing Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen for nought.

With the pitch assisting seam bowlers, Arshdeep took the first four wickets in a seven-over opening spell, and Avesh followed up with four more in a seven-over spell.

Sudharsan struck fellow one-day debutant Nandre Burger through the covers with his first ball in international cricket.

Sudharsan could have been out in the same over had South Africa not overturned a not-out decision for leg before wicket. There were two sounds, but replays revealed that his bat struck his boot rather than the ball.

Sudharsan went on to hit an unbeaten 55 off 43 balls, including nine fours.

India used only three players from the World Cup final against Australia last month, while South Africa used six players from the semi-final loss to the Australians.

“With the amount of international cricket being played you have to rest some players,” said Rahul.

“Chopping and changing is a must in the modern game. We believe in whoever’s here to win the game and do their best for the team.”

The second match in the three-match series takes place on Tuesday in Gqeberha, with the third two days later in Paarl.

The first Test begins on December 26 at Centurion.

Photo by Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix