Everything was right according to South Africa’s plans; they won the toss and elected to bat first. However, that was all South Africa could get right on the night, with their batting struggling to tackle Arshdeep Singh’s show with the ball. From thereon, it just worsened, as South Africa collapsed to 116, their lowest ever-total at the venue.
South African skipper Aiden Markram regretted the decision to bat first, stating that the Proteas were behind from the first ball. Markram also opened up on the conditions, stating that they were aware of the ball moving early on, but the movement lasted longer than usual, resulting in the Proteas’ batting unit crashing.
“Tough one. Winning the toss, batting first we would have wanted to bat well. Credit to the Indian bowlers. We were behind from the very first ball. Couldn't recover. We expected it to go around a little bit. In the first 6-7 overs, it does do a bit. Today, it lasted a little longer and they bowled well,” Markram stated in the post-match presentation.
On the other hand, it was just a perfect night for Arshdeep Singh, who picked up his first fifer. The 24-year-old claimed 4/19 in the powerplay and became the fourth Indian bowler to take four or more wickets in the first 10 overs.
In his second spell, the left-arm pacer returned to complete his maiden five-wicket haul, finishing with figures of 5/37.
“Loving this moment. Thank God and the team management. It is a little different than normal grounds as I was running out of breath. Personally it feels good, I am enjoying my role,” Arshdeep said in the post-match presentation.
“I would thank KL Rahul bhai as he said you have to come back and get that fifer. I guess it is about enjoying this moment. When we go there, then focus on what will work there.”
Indian skipper KL Rahul was very pleased with the effort, stating that the plan for the Men in Blue was to get spinners early on in the game. However, with how the pacers bowled, there wasn’t any need, as Avesh Khan and Arshdeep shared nine wickets between them.
“The plan was to get the spinners in the game. The boys did really well. The boys did well to stay disciplined. The ball kept moving around. There is a lot of cricket being played. You prioritize one format. For now, it is Tests and T20s,” Rahul said.
“Everyone is performing and trying to do well for the country. Good chance for them to get a taste of international cricket,” he added.
With the win in Johannesburg, India have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series, with an eye on sealing the series at St George's Park in Gqeberha.