He might be a machine with bat in hand, but reviewing decisions is definitely not India skipper Virat Kohli’s forte. But in former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kohli has the best judge when it comes to calling for a review. With just one review allotted to teams in ODIs, going for the DRS and faltering can prove costly, but not when you have the experience of Dhoni behind the stumps. While Dhoni has time and again shown brilliant judgment when it comes to going for a review, the latest example came in the pink ODI at the Wanderers on Saturday.
It was the 8th over of the South Africa innings and Jasprit Bumrah literally cut Proteas opener Hashim Amla into half with one that moved in sharply after pitching. Even as Kohli was convinced that the ball had clipped the inside edge of the bat on its way to keeper Dhoni, the former India skipper just smiled to signal to Kohli that there was no bat involved.
Interestingly, Dhoni as the captain was not very fond of the Decision Review System and felt that it needed changes before becoming a permanent fixture in international games.
Coming back to Saturday’s game, riding on century from Shikhar Dhawan and yet another half-century from Virat Kohli, India posted a decent total of 289/7 in their designated 50 overs. Then, 7 overs into chase, bad weather forced the players off and reduced South Africa’s target to 202 from 28 overs.
Amla and Duminy resumed proceedings, but Kuldeep removed both of them in quick succession and it seemed spinners would continue to haunt the Proteas. De Villiers decided to attack the spinners, and took 16 runs from Chahal’s first over as South Africa started going for their shots.
When Pandya removed de Villiers for a quickfire 26, it looked as if India might come back into the game. But then, Klaasen and Miller put together 72-runs to take the game away from the visitors.
Some luck and unorthodox aggressive batting was the key for South Africa as they hit the spinners for total of 119 runs in 11.3 overs, Chahal had dismissed Miller on 6 but replays showed that the leg-spinner had overstepped. Miller made full use of the second chance as he ended up 39 off 28 balls.
But some pre-meditated hitting from Klaasen was the key as he remained unbeaten on 43, guiding his team home. Phehlukwayo also smashed 23 off 5 balls as South Africa reached the target with 5 wickets to spare.