Shikhar Dhawan    AFP
Shikhar Dhawan top scored with 47 AFP

Electing to bowl, South Africa had the advantage with Indian skipper Virat Kohli missing out the T20I decider due to stiff back. Nonetheless, their opening bowlers weren’t impressive despite removing stand-in captain, Rohit Sharma, early. At No. 3, Suresh Raina (43) added a fifty-run stand with Shikhar Dhawan (47) before regular breakthroughs negated India’s momentum at Newlands, Cape Town. India eventually managed 172 for 7 in the tour finale. Will it be enough to curb the South African attack in absence of both the wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal?

Chris Morris struggled to get into rhythm and started with a no-ball, but Junior Dala continued to prevail over Rohit. He got him for the third time in a row; making him his bunny, again, through extra pace. The first half of the Indian innings was held by Raina-Dhawan. The former smashed a six off the first ball; expressing his intentions. It has been pleasing to see Raina’s mode of attack despite on a comeback trail. He kept the scoreboard ticking by taking his chances, and was given freebies as well.

Dhawan took 29 balls to get his first boundary. It wasn’t a fluent innings from the southpaw, but he kept the scoreboard moving. Losing Raina, due to spinners’ tight spells, Dhawan was joined by Manish Pandey. The in-form right-hander departed, for the first time in the series, after mistiming a hit off Dala for 13.

South Africa despite being sloppy in the field bounced back courtesy Tabriaz Shamsi, JP Duminy and Dala (most impressive of the lot). India never managed to brake the shackles, and managed a moderate score. They added 47 runs in the last five overs. Dinesh Karthik deserves special mention for his sparkling 6-ball 13 which gave the innings some lift. In hindsight, he should have batted higher up the order.

Note: In the last match played at Cape Town, third ODI of the six-match series, the pitch slowed down considerably. Have India missed a trick by leaving out both the spinners? Playing his first game of the tour, Akshar Patel will be under pressure. Ironically, South African spinners have done well, and India have gone ahead with only one. We might see Raina bowl.

Brief scores

India 172 for 7 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 47, Suresh Raina 43, Hardik Pandya 21; Junior Dala 3 for 35, Chris Morris 2 for 43) vs South Africa.