SA feel at home in India

Published : Oct 24, 2015 00:00 IST

South Africa’s victory in the first ODI of the on-going series against India was their fifth consecutive win against them, in India, in completed matches across all formats of international cricket. The streak goes back to February 2010, when South Africa have beaten India in three ODIs and two T20Is, in India, without a losing a single match. Interestingly, South Africa lost four of their five matches against India, in India, before that streak started (see table).

Prior to this winning streak, there has only been one instance of South Africa beating India in three or more consecutive matches (across formats), in India. This happened in October 1996 when South Africa beat India in three back-to-back ODIs in Hyderabad, Jaipur and Rajkot.

Rohit’s big knocks

After the first ODI of the series against South Africa, Rohit Sharma has now made three scores of 150 or more in ODIs. The only Indian batsman with more such scores is Sachin Tendulkar (5). Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly have made two scores each of 150-plus runs. Apart from Tendulkar the only batsmen in the world to make more 150-plus scores than Rohit in ODIs are Chris Gayle and Sanath Jayasuriya — four each. Rohit Sharma has played 139 ODIs and his batting average went past 40 for the first time in his career after the Kanpur match.

Virat Kohli was dismissed for only 11 runs in the first ODI of the current series against South Africa, and it seems to me that he hasn't scored too many runs for a while. Is this true, or is it just my memory?

- Aravind Anandan, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Virat Kohli has only scored 389 ODI runs from 16 innings in 2015, at an average of 29.92, including only one 50-plus score, that being his century against Pakistan during the 2015 World Cup. The scores in his last six ODI innings are 3, 1, 1, 23, 25 and 11, and he hasn't posted a 50- plus score in 11 ODI innings. This is the first time in his ODI career that Kohli has played six consecutive innings without getting past the score of 25.

India lost the first ODI against South Africa despite Rohit Sharma scoring 150 runs. Was this some kind of a record for the most runs in an unsuccessful chase?

- Shohini Sengupta, Noida, National Capital Region

Rohit Sharma's score of 150 was the highest ever by any batsman in an ODI chase against South Africa, whether successful or unsuccessful. Also, this is only the second instance of an Indian batsman scoring 150 or more in an unsuccessful chase, after Sachin Tendulkar's 175 in a losing cause against Australia in Hyderabad in 2009. Across countries, Rohit's score of 150 was the third highest score in an unsuccessful chase.

M. S. Dhoni was dismissed in the last over of India's chase during the first ODI against South Africa, and India lost the match. Has it ever happened that M.S. Dhoni has been not out and India has still lost?

- Albin George Thomas, Mumbai, Maharashtra

There have been 40 instances of M. S. Dhoni remaining not out at the end of an ODI chase for India. India has won 38 of those matches and lost only one, with one match being tied. The match that India lost was against Pakistan in Kolkata in 2013, when India were bowled out for 168 when chasing 251 to win, but Dhoni was unbeaten on 54. The tied game was against Sri Lanka in Adelaide in 2012, when both teams scored exactly 236, with Dhoni making 58 not out.

I read that AB de Villiers has now scored 10 ODI centuries as captain. How many captains have done this?

- Abhinav Ramesh, Bangalore, Karnataka

This is correct. AB de Villiers' century in the first ODI against India was his 10th as captain, making him the fourth captain to achieve this feat. Ricky Ponting is the runaway leader with 22 ODI centuries as captain, followed by Sourav Ganguly (11), Sanath Jayasuriya (10) and now de Villiers (10). Among active players, M. S. Dhoni is next on the list, with six centuries as captain.

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