India’s stand-in skipper Shikhar Dhawan received a bonus at the time of the toss as his South African counterpart, Keshav Maharaj, opted to bat first after winning the coin toss. The decision turned out to be a brutal one for the Proteas who struggled to control the flow of runs when the Indians came out to bat in the evening. After the match, Dhawan cheekily thanked Maharaj for opting to bat first, admitting that things could’ve been more difficult for India if they were made to bowl second.
South Africa posted an impressive total of 278 runs on the board, with Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram scoring 74 and 79 respectively. Even the likes of Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller produced fine cameos of 30 and 35 runs respectively, but they couldn’t take the team’s total past the 300-run mark.
Batting second, India didn’t get off to a great start as skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill departed for 13 and 28 runs respectively. Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer, however, put on a show for the hosts, scoring 93 and 113 respectively.
As the game progressed, it became really difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball, making the job easier for the batters on what was otherwise a tough pitch.
Dhawan, at the post-match presentation ceremony, thanked South Africa’s stand-in skipper Keshav Maharaj for not sending the Indian team to bat first.
“Shikhar, you wanted to do something different and it worked perfectly well for you at toss,” Murali Kartik asked Dhawan after the match.
The southpaw responded saying: “Worked perfectly well for us, thanks to Keshav that he chose to bat. Glad that dew came in at the right time.” Both Dhawan and Kartik then started to laugh.
Even Markram admitted in the press conference that the decision to bat first was the wrong one for the South Africans.
“The ball was quite wet and we definitely saw the impact of dew. Maybe in hindsight, we can say we got it (toss) wrong,” he said.
With the series 1-1, India and South Africa will now square-off in the third and final ODI on Tuesday.
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