Indian ODI skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was under intense pressure to deliver, finally did good; the spectacular wicket keeper batsman, hit a masterful 92*, to help India recover from the disastrous 124 for 6, to reach a some what respectable total of 247. The Indian bowlers then took charge at Indore. South Africa were eventually bundled out for 225, giving India a much need 22 run win. The series is now interestingly poised at 1-1.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni struck a fighting 92 not out as India came back from a precarious 104-5, to post a challenging 247. Dhoni struck four sixes and seven fours, giving a fine display of batting, in tandem with the lower order. The nudges, quick singles, shot-arm jabs, pulls, cuts, lofted shots over the bowler’s head, all were on full display, as Dhoni answered back his critics with his knock that came off 86 balls. India scored 82 runs off the last 10 overs.
Ajinkya Rahane, on the other hand, proved his class yet again and batted well, scoring a fine 63-ball 51, his second consecutive fifty. The hosts suffered an early jolt when Rohit Sharma was cleaned up by young paceman Kagiso Rabada the second over of the day.
For South Africa, Dale Steyn (3/49) picked up three wickets while Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir scalped two apiece.
In terms of the batting department, the South African’s got off to a quiet, but solid start, that forced Dhoni to bring on Axar Patel, and Harbhajan Singh, early on; bowling in tandem, they put a brake on the run flow, and kept picking wickets at regular intervals.
The wily Patel proved why Dhoni is often insisting spin is India’s strength. Within seven runs, Patel sent the two ominous looking batsmen, Duminy, and du Plessis, back to the pavilion. Seamer Bhuvneshawar Kumar exploited David Miller’s poor form. Soon, deputy captain Virat Kohli made up for his disappointment in the run out mix-up earlier in the day, with three superb catches; one of them was a particularly spectacular one, to send the dangerous de Villiers back to the pavilion. In spite of a late resistance by the South African tailenders, Indian bowlers held their nerves .