RESULT: SOUTH AFRICA BEATS INDIA BY SEVEN WICKETS.
SOUTH AFRICA INNINGS
SA 288/3 in 48.1 overs: GAME. SET. MATCH.
SOUTH AFRICA SEALS THE ODI SERIES AS WELL WITH AN UNASSAILABLE 2-0 LEAD.
SA 287/3 in 48 overs: South Africa is taking this into the next over. 1 run required.
SA 281/3 in 47 overs: vd Dussen and Markram run three while Dhawan, Ashwin and Rahul give chase to the ball between point and extra cover. The outfield has evidently become very dry.
SA 276/3 in 46 overs: Markram hits his teammate vd Dussen on the box. Ouch! Four runs come from the over.
SA 272/3 in 45 overs: There's a direct hit effected at the bowling end as Markram and vd Dussen steal a quick single but the former was well in when the bails came off. WIDE! An awkward bouncer from Bumrah.
SA 270/3 in 44 overs: FOUR! Markram goes for the inside out shot over extra over. Exquisite. FOUR! Back-to-back boundaries. Goes leg side on this occasion.
SA 258/3 in 43 overs: Five runs come off the Ashwin over and that'll be more than enough for the Proteas.
SA 253/3 in 42 overs: Kohli and Rahul have a brief chat before bringing Bhuvneshwar back on. He concedes only five runs but that is still over the required rate.
SA 248/3 in 41 overs: vd Dussen gets beaten, but the ball just misses the top of off stump. So close!
SA 245/3 in 40 overs: FOUR! A poor delivery from Venkatesh, angled towards leg, and all Markram had to do was nudge it over Ashwin's head at short fine.
SA 237/3 in 39 overs: FOUR! Ashwin has been welcomed with a four as well. Bowled wide and vd Dussen has reverse swept him to glory. FOUR! More runs. Not the greatest of days for the premier spinner. It is vd Dussen again who has slapped the carrom ball to cover.
SA 225/3 in 38 overs: FOUR! Markram greets Chahal with an audacious sweep through deep mid-wicket. The last ball goes for three.
SA 217/3 in 37 overs: A thick inside edge and that'll be another lucky escape for South Africa as Markram survives.
SA 215/3 in 36 overs: WICKET! Double break for India! A leading edge straight to Chahal sees Bavuma trudging off into the pavilion. Temba Bavuma c & b Chahal 35 (36b 3x4 0x6). Almost another! vd Dussen headed off for a run as he had not seen Rahul collect the ball. A direct hit at the bowler's end would have seen him a mile off the mark.
SA 213/2 in 35 overs: WICKET! An unfortunate dismissal for 91. Bumrah rolls his fingers across and Malan ends up elbowing it onto the stumps. Janneman Malan b Bumrah 91 (108b 8x4 1x6). Markram joins Bavuma.
SA 211/1 in 34 overs: FOUR! How's that for placement? Malan shows immaculate footwork to send the ball through the point region. FOUR! Bavuma now. Bludgeoned over deep mid-wicket. FOUR! Again. Edged and flicks Pant's gloves on the way. Still no idea why he is standing up to the stumps for Thakur's bowling.
SA 197/1 in 33 overs: Bumrah is back. Just a single from that over off one nipping back into Malan, who works it away down fine-leg. The last ball takes the inside edge off Bavuma's blade, but drops short of Pant.
SA 196/1 in 32 overs: FOUR! Malan helps Thakur's first ball on its way towards fine-leg. Less than a 100 required now. " Chalo bhai chalo! " - Pant continues to try and cheer his teammates up. Drinks are on the field.
SA 187/1 in 31 overs: FOUR! Malan knows precisely where the gaps are. Welcomes Chahal back with a reverse sweep to bring up the fifty-run partnership with his skipper. Meanwhile, Kohli, at backward point, gifts a run in overthrows.
SA 180/1 in 30 overs: Venkatesh has done well to mix his deliveries up and keep the South African batters guessing.
SA 176/1 in 29 overs: Malan miscues, but this will land in a safe zone. Both Malan and Bavuma looking to employ the sweep against Chahal.
SA 173/1 in 28 overs: Malan and Bavuma look to keep the scoreboard ticking in Venkatesh's over; six singles come from it.
SA 167/1 in 27 overs: Chahal replaces Ashwin. A slip is in place for Bavuma. The South African skipper gets lucky. FOUR! A great delivery, drifts off the top of off stump, missing everything and everybody.
SA 160/1 in 26 overs: FOUR! Malan targets Venkatesh's short delivery and drags it across through mid-wicket. Bavuma gets one off the toe end of his bat to dip just wide of Bhuvneshwar at mid-off. Lucky escape.
SA 153/1 in 25 overs: FOUR! A deft nudge by Bavuma as he reached out and angled it behind for a boundary at fine leg. Eight runs from that Ashwin over.
SA 145/1 in 24 overs: Venkatesh Iyer with the ball. Slower one outside off to Bavuma and he jabs at it for a single at third man. Close! Malan looks to cut very close to the body and gets a bottom edge that bounces close to the stumps and trickles to third man for a single. Good length from Venkatesh on off stump and Bavuma is cramped for room. Strays on the legs and flicked to mid wicket for a single. Good yorker this time to Malan and he fends it back. Cut but straight to point. Good first over by Venkatesh, just three from it.
SA 142/1 in 23 overs: SIX! Malan flays that absolute gift short-pitched from Ashwin from outside off to the mid wicket boundary. Bavuma sweeps it to fine for a couple off his first ball.
SA 132/1 in 22 overs: Missed chance! It bounced off de Kock's pad after going off his inside edge, just missed the top of the stumps and Pant dropped the catch. A tough chance but India should look at grabbing all chances at this stage. WIDE! Thakur decks in a springy bouncer and Pant, standing up to the stumps, jumps and flaps at it to keep it from running to the boundary. Malan steers one past point for a single and fifty up for him off 66 balls. WIDE! This goes way outside off. Loud LBW appeal as de Kock misses the flick off his pads. Thakur is especially eager for the review and Rahul goes up. OUT! Gone! Good review as the ball looks to be hitting off stump. Quinton de Kock lbw b Shardul Thakur 78(66b 7x4 3x6).
SA 128/0 in 21 overs: Ashwin back into the attack. Deft! Malan goes down on his knee and sweeps it to fine leg for a couple, using the pace of the ball. Two more singles follow as Ashwin continues to keep it a touch too full. de Kock reaches out and sweeps behind to fine leg for one more. The required rate for SA a very comfortable 5.5 now.
SA 122/0 in 20 overs: Good over from Thakur. Kept it on a length and on middle and off. Dot ball pressure will be key as India looks for that elusive first wicket.
SA 121/0 in 19 overs: The runs keep coming as Chahal struggles to find purchase on a wicket where the South African spinners ran through India's top order. To the batters' credit, they are happy churning out the singles and refraining from taking risks at a stage where none are required.
SA 116/0 in 18 overs: Thakur with the ball after the break. Malan punches off the backfoot for a single at cover. FOUR! Ramp and four! de Kock moved across to the off side and scooped one outside off to the fine leg boundary. Perfect balance.
SA 109/0 in 17 overs: Another over gone and another over of dominance by the South Africa batters. Chahal is nudged around for four singles from the over. Drinks!
SA 105/0 in 16 overs: Thick inside edge as Malan looked to steer it to third man. FOUR! Full, just outside off and Malan comes forward to drive through covers. Exquisite. Punches it down the ground for a single at long on next ball. SA easily chipping away at the target. SIX! Flat and full! Length outside off and pulls Bhuvi to the mid wicket boundary for a maximum. 100 up with that six!
SA 93/0 in 15 overs: Just three from it but South Africa wouldn't mind that. Chahal is tossing it up very full on a very straight line and the batters are happy to work the single and keep the scoreboard ticking.
SA 90/0 in 14 overs: FOUR! Short and slow outside off and Malan rises with the bounce and pulls it to the deep mid wicket boundary. Five easy singles to make it nine from the over. Runs are coming without the batters breaking a sweat. Maybe Rahul should look at introducing Venkatesh now.
SA 81/0 in 13 overs: Chahal continues. Errs in line a bit allowing easy runs for the batters. A wicket is the need of the hour here for India. South Africans haven't really been threatened so far.
SA 75/0 in 12 overs: Bhuvneshwar is back into the attack. Pant is standing up for him. A couple for de Kock at cover and fifty up for him off just 36 balls. His seventh score of fifty-plus against India. Good comeback by Bhuvi. Bowls on a good length, pinning the batters back and cramping them for room with a tight line.
SA 72/0 in 11 overs: Chahal from the other and and looks like we will spin from both ends. Malan is beaten for some big turn away outside off and a stumping appeal is referred to the third umpire. Malan got his foot down in the nick of time however.
SA 66/0 in 10 overs: FOUR! de Kock goes inside out and over extra cover for a boundary. Tossed up straight and full and Malan missed a cheeky reverse-sweep behind the keeper. Reviewed! There was no appeal but Pant thinks this one warrants a review and Rahul goes up. Surely no bat but impact was outside off and review lost.
SA 59/0 in 9 overs:FOUR! A slight error in line as Bumrah goes too straight and Malan whips is off his pads for a four through the mid wicket region. Bumrah had built up the pressure well with a consistent off stump line on a good length and that boundary certainly relieved some of that. This one is too wide outside off and Malan guides it to third man for two more.
SA 52/0 in 8 overs: Stumping missed! de Kock was beaten all ends up as he stepped out to Ashwin but Pant missed an easy stumping behind the stumps. SIX! Insult to injury. de Kock slog sweeps and sails it over the square leg fence. FOUR! Malan joins the party now with a reverse-sweep behind point and frustration only adds for Ashwin.
SA 41/0 in 7 overs: Another tight over by Bumrah. Hint of swing for him there also and just three runs from it.
SA 38/0 in 6 overs: Maiden over from Ashwin. He floats it up to Malan, keeping it straight and the batter is happy to defend. Probably de Kock has done enough damage upfront for Malan to take any unnecessary risks.
SA 38/0 in 5 overs: Bumrah to de Kock from over the wicket. Tidy stuff from Bumrah. Gives very little in terms of width and keeps it on a good length to peg the batters back. Four singles from the other.
SA 34/0 in 4 overs: Ashwin is in already with the ball. Pitched up on Malan's legs who drives it to long on for a single. FOUR! Width outside off and de Kock pounces on that one with a flourishing drive through covers. Very little margin for error with de Kock striking with such intent.
SA 28/0 in 3 overs: Beaten! Bumrah beats de Kock on the drive with some away movement outside off. FOUR! Half-volley and too straight and de Kock flicks it to the mid wicket region for another boundary. Bumrah is pitching it too full in search for that early swing but without success so far.
SA 23/0 in 2 overs: Bhuvneshwar from the other end. Gets Malan's bottom edge first ball. FOUR! de Kock stepped out a bit and slapped it to the mid wicket region for a boundary. Didn't come off the middle but enough bat on it to carry it to the fence. SIX! de Kock on the charge! Length on leg stump and de Kock pulled it over square leg for a maximum. Stand and deliver! Bhuvi changes angles, comes around the wicket. WIDE! Strays down leg. FOUR! Punched down the ground by de Kock and he moves to 20 off 10 balls with that boundary.
SA 7/0 in 1 over: Bumrah to Malan from over the wicket. Tickled down the pads for a single at fine leg and South Africa is away first ball. Length on leg stump and de Kock misses the flick as it nipped in and got him on the box. A wry smile on his face after copping that one on. Tucked away to square leg and de Kock is off the mark with a single. FOUR! Over-pitched on off stump and thumped down the ground by de Kock.
Back with the chase. South Africa will need to script a record chase at this ground to win this match and the series. Rahul and his men are in a huddle while de Kock and Malan walk out to the middle to get proceedings underway.
TARGET: SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS 288 RUNS FROM 50 OVERS TO CLINCH THE SERIES (5.76 RPO)
IND 287/6 in 50 overs: Magala to finish things off. Starts off with a front-foot no-ball. It will be a free hit with Thakur having the license to kill. Oops, it is only a single he manages to get. Ashwin creams a drive wide of mid-off off the last ball to pick up four runs.
IND 273/6 in 49 overs: All types of unorthodox shots on display as Ashwin and Thakur look to make the most of the available deliveries. Meanwhile, Thakur is 16 short off yet another fifty. The three dot balls Ashwin swung at and missed wouldn't have made Thakur very happy at the non-striker's end. Ashwin runs a quick double off the last delivery to hand the strike to Thakur in the last over.
IND 268/6 in 48 overs: The pressure is getting to the South African bowlers and that is evident as Shamsi starts off with a wide. An LBW appeal of the next but the umpire doesn't seem to be interested. No review. DROPPED! Top effort from Miller though. Ashwin gets a life, on this occasion. An athletic fielder, Miller had the distance covered but the ball popped out of his hands as soon as his elbows hit the deck.
IND 263/6 in 47 overs: SIX! Ashwin joins the party with a classy sweep in front of square. Top stuff.
IND 252/6 in 46 overs: Spinners operating in tandem now as Shamsi returns into the mix. FOUR! Thakur hits a boundary off the last ball of this over as well. Brings up the 250 for India.
IND 245/6 in 45 overs: Ashwin gets off the mark off the third ball he faces. FOUR! Hammered by Thakur, who carries on in his efforts to keep India on track.
IND 239/6 in 44 overs: Thakur mistimes but that falls just short of Bavuma at mid-off. FOUR! Makes up for it with a glorious boundary straight past the bowler off the next delivery. The partnership is worth 30 runs now. We're going upstairs for a stumping review; de Kock doesn't seem to be too confident though. WICKET! Turns out, Venkatesh's foot is just centimeters off the ground as QdK whips the bails off. Two of Phehlukwayo's last three wickets are stumpings.
IND 232/5 in 43 overs: Thakur and Venkatesh avoid taking any undue risks. Five singles in that over.
IND 227/5 in 42 overs: SIX! That's launched into outer space... Thakur dispatches the Phehlukwayo off-cutter sans any trouble.
IND 220/5 in 41 overs: Maharaj is back to bowl his sixth. Venkatesh and Thakur looking to bide time together. Three runs off the over.
IND 217/5 in 40 overs: Ngidi continues to bother Venkatesh with the straightened seam... angling into the left-hander, cramping him for space. DROPPED! Venkatesh goes for the cover drive off a slower ball. van der Dussen fails to judge the height and lets it go.
IND 215/5 in 39 overs: A brilliant over from Shamsi. Only two runs off it.
IND 213/5 in 38 overs: WIDE! Ngidi strays with a bouncer down the leg side. Venkatesh and Thakur are happy with the singles and the occasional double for now.
IND 207/5 in 37 overs: There's a vociferous appeal as Shamsi gets one to rap onto Venkatesh's pads. South Africa decides against the review after the bowler and Bavuma have a brief consultation with the wicketkeeper de Kock. And another aggressive appeal, for Shreyas' wicket this time... They'll go upstairs. This is the first time a DRS has been opted for in the ODI series. OUT! Third umpire B Jele asks the on-field umpire to reverse his decision as the ball tracker shows it would have gone onto hit the leg stump. Thakur is in. Maybe with a license to swing freely before Ashwin saunters to the crease.
IND 203/4 in 36 overs: Difficult to say which team possesses the advantage at present. While India was threatening to put on a huge total a while earlier, the side presents a completely different image now as Shreyas and Venkatesh continue to keep the scoreboard ticking. The umpire Marais Erasmus calls Magala to rebowl the last delivery. No ball... and it will be a free-hit. SIX! Venkatesh takes full advantage and goes for a maximum straight over the bowler's head to bring up the 200 for India .
IND 191/4 in 35 overs: Venkatesh and Shreyas looking to refresh and rebuild. Only three singles in that over, and a wide from Shamsi. Quiet period, this, from India.
IND 187/4 in 34 overs: Magala starts off with one angling into Shreyas' pads. The former DC captain flicks it fine for a single. Swings and misses... Magala is sorting his figures out even as he continues to flummox Venkatesh.
IND 186/4 in 33 overs: Time for Shamsi to have a go at Pant again. And the Proteas spinner has the last laugh as Pant holes out to Markram at long-on! Aggressive celebrations follow as Shamsi roars and has a word with Pant before sending him off with a pat on the back. Rishabh Pant c Markram b Shamsi 85 (71b 10x4 2x6). Venkatesh Iyer joins Shreyas Iyer in the middle.
IND 183/3 in 32 overs: Taken! Magala strikes. Rahul picks out van der Dussen at mid-wicket off the first ball after drinks. KL Rahul c van der Dussen b Magala 55 (79b 4x4 0x6). Shreyas glances to fine-leg to get off the mark straightaway.
IND 179/2 in 31 overs: FOUR! Pant is in the mood. Gets into the 80s with a lofted strike over mid-off. This is now his highest ODI score. Two singles later, Rahul walks down to the centre to have a word with the 'keeper-batter. Wonder what that is about. Maybe, to exercise more control as he approaches the triple digits? Time for a drinks break.
IND 171/2 in 30 overs: Magala replaces Shamsi. Maybe, his slower ball will come to good use now. The batters deal in singles. Four runs come from the over.
IND 167/2 in 29 overs: The 100-run partnership between Rahul and Pant comes up in only 95 deliveries. Their second. Meanwhile, Rahul gets to a fifty as well with a controlled push through sweeper cover.
IND 162/2 in 28 overs: Pant gets off strike with a single off a reverse sweep. Wants to try every shot in the book there, does Pant! FOUR! Pant beats the infield with a pull and even Markram isn't able to cut it off near the ropes. SIX! Pant is dictating the terms now. One-handed and over long-on.
IND 150/2 in 27 overs: Rahul has been dropped again -- once on 8 and now on 46! Markram is the culprit, who has the ball burst through his fingers at backward point. India goes past 150.
IND 148/2 in 26 overs: Shamsi is back. A number of field changes being made for Pant, who takes a tumble while trying to attempt an innovative scoop. FOUR! A one-handed lofted shot next sees Pant pick a boundary.
IND 141/2 in 25 overs: Pant punches through covers for a single and a splendid half-century for him off 43 balls! Slashed by Rahul behind point for one more. FOUR! Darted in on leg side and Pant ramps it behind with inventive footwork to the fine leg boundary. Two singles to end the over. Good going by Pant and Rahul.
IND 133/2 in 24 overs: Tabraiz Shamsi replaces Markram. FOUR! Pant sweeps and gets a top edge but has enough on it to take it to the square leg fence. FOUR! Two in two for Pant! Full and straight and swept again behind square for four runs. Better length this time outside off stump and Pant whips it to mid on for a dot. FOUR! Pant backs away on leg and cuts it to the fine leg boundary off the back foot. Driven this time on the front foot through covers for a single. WIDE! Turns it down leg side. Dot to end the over. 14 runs from Shamsi's first over.
IND 119/2 in 23 overs: Another good over from Phehlukwayo, making it hard for the batters to work with his pace. A relentless line around off stump doesn't help the run-scoring.
IND 115/2 in 22 overs: FOUR! Strays on Pant's pads and he whips it behind for a boundary. Markram had a good over until that loosener, with five consecutive dots. Pant stepped out to break the shackles but ended up hammering it straight into the wickets at the non-striker's end.
IND 111/2 in 21 overs: Phehlukwayo into the attack with his tricky medium-pace. Quinton de Kock is up at the stumps. Three runs off it. Phehlukwayo mixes his pace well; Rahul is slightly deceived on the last ball for lack of pace and pops one short of the man at mid wicket.
IND 108/2 in 20 overs: Pant steps out to Markram and miscues a slog for only a single at long on and India is in three digits with that one. FOUR! Close to off stump but Pant waited on the back foot, made room on the off and cut it behind point for a boundary. Punched off the backfoot this time for a single through cover.
IND 99/2 in 19 overs: Maharaj continues. FOUR! Another loosener veers down leg with Maharaj's angles and Pant pats it behind to collect four freebies. Rahul, Pant squeeze out the singles as nine runs come from the over and finally they seem to have found their groove against the spinners.
IND 90/2 in 18 overs: FOUR! A poor delivery from Markram pitched on leg side and Rahul pulls it fine for a boundary at fine leg. Two more singles to end the over.
IND 83/2 in 17 overs: SIX! Pant cuts loose! Sits on one knee and launches a full one from Maharaj over the mid wicket boundary for a maximum! FOUR! Maharaj feeds one on Rahul's legs and he beautifully glances it to the fine leg bondary. Good start for India after the break.
IND 72/2 in 16 overs: Two singles from Markram's over. Pant didn't look comfortable at all with a couple of mishits. Guides the last ball to point to steal a single and keep strike. Drinks!
IND 70/2 in 15 overs: Pant is off the mark off his third ball with a single at long on. He dragged one wide outside off. Absolute chaos! Pant and Rahul were stranded at one end but the bowler, Maharaj, misses the throw and a very lucky escape here for India. Unbelievable!
IND 65/2 in 14 overs: Markram has the ball on string here with an unwavering line just outside off that leaves Rahul little room to work with. Goes slightly straight on the last ball and Rahul flicks it to mid wicket for a single. The spinners have put a stranglehold here on the Indian batters.
IND 64/2 in 13 overs: Rahul steals a quick one first ball. OUT! Kohli drives uppishly straight to cover and Kohli goes for a duck. Virat Kohli c Temba Bavuma b Keshav Maharaj 0(5b 0x4 0x6). Pant is in at No. 4. Just short! Pant stepped out first ball and almost edged it to first slip.
IND 63/1 in 12 overs: Spin from both ends as Bavuma looks to the pace off the ball. Rahul works the first one to square leg for a single. FOUR! Dhawan steps out, gets to the pitch of the ball, and slams it over mid wicket and to the fence. OUT! Gone! Dhawan slog sweeps a full and straight one to the fielder at square leg. Shikhar Dhawan c Sisanda Magala b Aiden Markram 29(38b 5x4 0x6). Kohli the new man in, starts off with a couple of dots.
IND 58/0 in 11 overs: Maharaj into the attack now. Round the wicket to Rahul. Rahul comes forward to drive through cover for a single off the first one. Should have put this one away! It came into Dhawan from outside off and he missed the pull off his pads. More intent from Dhawan as he steps out but whips it straight to square leg for another dot ball.
IND 57/0 in 10 overs: Just two runs from the over as Markram goes about his job of damage-control with great control. Cramps Dhawan outside that off stump line.
IND 55/0 in 9 overs: FOUR! Rahul leans into the drive as Ngidi serves it up outside off. A fumble at point lets the ball through and to the boundary. 50 up for India. Two more for Rahul from the over as he gently dabs a slower one outside off past the slips.
IND 49/0 in 8 overs: Markram into the attack. Dhawan gets off strike with a single through cover. Rahul returns strike with a single at long-on. Two more singles to end the over. Tidy from Markram.
IND 45/0 in 7 overs: Ngidi continues from round the wicket to Dhawan. Slots it tight on off stump, pinning Dhawan back. He finally cuts loose on the fifth ball with a flick behind square for a couple. Punches the last one through cover for a single and keeps strike.
IND 42/0 in 6 overs: Good recovery from Magala. Darts it just outside off only allowing a single to Rahul off the first three balls. Almost revving it in at a good pace. Dhawan tucks one on the leg for one more. Said that too soon! FIVE-WIDES! Full-toss wide outside leg and five extras more. Two singles to end the over. Magala has gone for 29 in 3 overs so far. Surely a case of nerves for him.
IND 33/0 in 5 overs: Dropped! Malan drops one at gully as Rahul gets a top edge trying to cut a length ball on the off. FOUR! Put away with disdain! Dhawan steps out and flays it over cover for a boundary. Almost chopped on! Dhawan plays this too close to his body and he almost taps it onto his stumps.
IND 26/0 in 4 overs: FOUR! Magala's wayward line continues. Width outside off and Rahul cuts it behind point for a boudary. Well-driven again with front-foot forward but just a single. Magala recovers well after that loosener early in the over and a expensive first over. Keeps it outside off to Dhawan from over the wicket.
IND 21/0 in 3 overs: Dhawan is in full flow! After Ngidi nags him with a tight line on and outside off, also beating his outside edge on one occasion with one that straightens, he unleashes a splendid cover drive for FOUR!
IND 16/0 in 2 overs: Magala to Rahul from the other end. Good bounce for him outside off and Rahul guides to third man with a horizontal bat for a single. Dhawan on strike. WIDE! Veers down the leg. FOUR! Sweetly-timed as Dhawan deftly flicks a loosener on the legs to the mid wicket fence. FIVE-WIDES! Wayward again from Magala down leg and it runs away past a diving de Kock for five extras. FOUR! Dhawan is in too much of a good touch to let that go. On the legs again and Dhawan whips it off to the square leg boundary.
IND 1/0 in 1 over: Ngidi with the new ball. Ngidi to Rahul from over the wicket. Pitched up first up on the stumps and Rahul defends. This one is wider on off and defended with the inner half of the bat back to the bowler. Closer to off stump on a length and punched to gully off the backfoot. Rahul shoulders arms outside off. On the stumps on a length again and tapped on the leg side. Glides one to third man for a single and India is off the mark.
13:55 IST: Teams assemble for the anthems and India's is first up. Done with the national anthems. The Proteas are in a huddle while Rahul and Dhawan are gearing up to make their way to the middle. A strong start will be crucial here for India considering the middle-order is still a little raw. The teams are playing on the same pitch as the first ODI so expect some turn early on. South Africans take the knee.
India Playing XI: KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.
South Africa Playing XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi.
TOSS: KL Rahul wins the toss and elects to bat. India to field an unchanged team from the first ODI. Sisanda Magala comes in for Marco Jansen in the only change for South Africa.
13:27: We are not too far from the toss. India will need to get its act together, especially in the middle-order, and salvage the series in this do-or-die encounter. It will be interesting to see if Venkatesh Iyer plays or Rahul prefers a specialist batter instead of him since he didn't bowl a single over in the first ODI.
Another bright and sunny morning at Boland Park as India looks to get back to winning ways
KL Rahul will have to show drastically improved leadership acumen when he leads India against a buoyant South African side in the second ODI on Thursday, with the three-match series and his long-term Test captaincy ambitions both at stake.
Rahul was at best mediocre in terms of "on-your-feet-thinking", something that's basic to the art of captaincy, and also didn't look the part with the bat in a deflating 31-run defeat in the opening ODI where India was outplayed for the better part of the game.
The middle-order, which had been a problem since Virat Kohli's heady days as captain, is still sticking out like a sore thumb and no one knows what exactly the solution is.
Once again, it was a case of one opener -- Shikhar Dhawan on this occasion -- and the indomitable Kohli holding fort before the middle-order caved in on a slower pitch where there was turn and the ball gripped, making a run-of-the-mill seamer Andile Phehlukwayo look formidable. FULL PREVIEW
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