“Lost Three ODIs As Captain…”: KL Rahul’s Honest Take On Win Over South Africa In 1st ODI | Cricket News

Indian players celebrating a wicket against South Africa during the 1st ODI.© AFP

Following his side’s eight-wicket win over South Africa in the first ODI, Indian skipper KL Rahul said that it was finally great to have a win in the country after losing three ODIs as a captain last year. KL’s men took a 1-0 lead in the series, beating South Africa by eight wickets in the first ODI at Johannesburg on Sunday. Arshdeep Singh’s five-wicket haul and fifties by debutant Sai Sudarshan and Shreyas Iyer were the key highlights for Men in Blue.

Last year in South Africa, India lost the ODI series against Proteas here by 3-0, losing two close matches by 31 runs and four runs and the other by seven wickets.

“Lost three ODIs as captain here last time around. Good to get a win here in SA today. The plans were to bring the spinners into the game, but there was a lot of help in the wicket early and the boys [pacers] bowled really well. (Chopping and changing players in the XI, especially the bowling attack) It is just how cricket is being played in the last couple of years. You have to rest some players, you prioritise one format every now and then. Now it is T20s and Tests. But we want to take guys who are doing their best. Everyone is doing well in first class and IPL too, so good for them to get a taste too,” said KL in the post-match presentation.

Coming to the match, Proteas opted to bat first. But Indian pacers Arshdeep and Avesh Khan proved that decision to be fatal for Proteas. Only De Zorzi (28 in 22 balls, with two fours and two sixes) and Phehlukwayo (33 in 49 balls, with three fours and two sixes) could contribute something decent as SA was bundled out for 116 in 27.3 overs.

Arshdeep (5/37) and Avesh (4/27) were the top bowlers for India. Spinner Kuldeep Yadav got one wicket for India.

In the run chase of 117, India lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) early, but fifties from debutant Sai Sudarshan (55 in 43 balls, with nine fours) and Shreyas Iyer (52 in 45 balls, with six fours and a six) sealed the game for India with over 33 overs to spare.

Wiaan Mulder and Andile Phehlukwayo got a wicket each.

Arshdeep took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

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