India renew pursuit of history, South Africa hope rally continues

Knocked back in the previous match, India will look to crush a South African revival before it becomes a threat to their pursuit of a maiden ODI series triumph here when the two sides clash in the fifth one-dayer, on Tuesday.

The ‘Men in Blue’ still have a two-match cushion in the six-ODI series.

They lead 3-1 after winning the first in Durban by six wickets, the second in Centurion by nine wickets and the third in Cape Town by 124 runs.

The Proteas bounced back by winning the rain-affected and lightning-struck Pink ODI in Johannesburg by five wickets.

India’s wrist-spinners versus South Africa’s batting line-up is still the key contest going ahead in this series. At Johannesburg, the dual rain intervention affected India’s momentum with both the bat and ball.

More importantly, it reduced the target sufficiently that, despite AB de Villiers’ relative early dismissal, the home batsmen didn’t have much trouble getting past.

The T20-mode of that second innings, coupled with the best batting surface of the series, allowed David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen to attack the wrist spinners and take the game away.

Of course, the dropped catch and bowling Miller off a no ball didn’t help India’s cause either.

Yet, a rain-truncated innings is hardly enough evidence that South Africa have learnt how to contend with the wrist spin of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

(Agencies)

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