The Men in Blue crashed their South African counterparts in the six-match ODI series with an 8-wicket victory in the 6th and final match at SuperSport Park in Centurion to win the series in a sensational style; while Indian Captain Virat Kohli scored his 35th ODI to help India win.
On Friday, at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, South Africa had the brilliant run of winning 17 ODI wins on their home grounds, yet they were overplayed by the ruthlessness of the Indian team. With a win in the final ODI of the 6-match series, India thumped South Africa with 5-1 – equalling the biggest ever defeat that South Africa ever received in ODI matches since 2001/02 against Ricky Pointing-led Australian team. At the game, the Indian team reached the victory target set by South African team of 205 with a spare of 107 balls! The chase for the run benchmark was made to look like a walk in the park – credits to Virat Kohli who remained unbeaten on 129 off 96 balls marking his 35th century in ODI.
At cricket stadiums, Kohli walks down to the pitch and he weakens the opponents with his fire-hose batting performance to weaken his bowlers from the knees. He has been breaking one-day match records almost every other day at the crease and henceforth, breaking the confidence of South African team like no other team has in recent history. Virat Kohli crossed 9,500 one-day score on Friday to become the first batsman to score 500 runs in a bilateral series. He became the highest scorer of the series followed by both of his teammates – Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma as second and third. And Kohli was named as the man of the series, of course.
India has taken over from South Africa as the world’s top-ranked ODI team and it is gaining leverage to overpower itself against the team that has been unbeaten since years. The unbeaten Indian skipper’s performance at Centurion, as breezy as the South African wind will be remembered and will give chills to the South Africans when both teams will come face to face for a three-match Twenty20 International series from Sunday. But beyond that, it was one hell of a series and all South Africa could do was watch, like the rest of world did.