Euro 2020 Special

India vs South Africa 2nd ODI Review: Kishan and Iyer Draw India Level

India have levelled up their ODI series against South Africa. They won the second match of their three-match series, setting up the final game in Delhi on Tuesday as a decider. It was a convincing victory in the end as they won by seven wickets, built on a partnership between Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer for the third India wicket worth 161. Iyer went on to complete an unbeaten century as India got home with more than four overs to spare.



There were several eyebrows raised when South African captain Temba Bavuma was left out of their starting line-up. Although the official reason given was that he was not feeling well, he had been under pressure for his place after a string of poor performances on tour, and the suspicions remain that he may have been dropped. Certainly his World Cup place now appears in jeopardy.

Keshav Maharaj captained the side in his absence.

Meanwhile, Washington Sundar was called up to replace Deepak Chahar in the Indian squad. Chahar, among the World Cup reserves, is the latest Indian bowler after Jasprit Bumrah to suffer from a back injury, and he will be hoping this is not an end to his own hopes of getting on the plane to Australia.

Another man to earn a recall was Shahbaz Ahmed. He had been called up as a replacement for Sundar for the ODI tour of Zimbabwe, but he did not feature in any of the three matches played there.


Match recap

South Africa won the toss in Ranchi and decided to bat first. They suffered an early blow, losing Quinton de Kock in the third over, and struggled initially until Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram combined, adding 139 for the third wicket. Hendricks fell for 74, but Markram went on to score 79, and there were useful contributions too from Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller as the tourists posted 276/7 from their 50 overs,

Mohammad Siraj was the pick of the Indian bowlers, taking 3 – 30.

India too struggled early on, and both openers fell relatively cheaply before Kishan and Iyer joined each other at the crease. The pair then grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck, particularly Kishan, who went on the attack. He made 93 off 84 balls, smashing 7 sixes and 4 fours before he was eventually caught.

Iyer, who had been content largely to play a supporting role, then joined forces with Sanju Samson, India’s batting star from the first ODI, and they were able to cruise to victory without any further alarms.

Iyer went on to complete his second ODI century and made his highest score in the format of the game, finishing unbeaten on 113. He had faced 111 balls and struck 15 fours. Samson played a more restrained innings this time, and was 30 not out at the end.


Key talking points

Siraj stakes his claim

Since the news broke of Bumrah’s unavailability, there has been much speculation as to who might take his place in the India World Cup team. Siraj’s bowling in this match was a statement of intent, especially if Chahar is now injured. His figures were only bettered by the 3 – 29 he took against the West Indies in Ahmedabad earlier this year. If he can perform equally well in the third game in Delhi, Siraj may have done enough to earn a trip to Australia, at least as a member of the squad.

Indian batting in good hands

If this match is any indication, then India’s batting for the 50 over version of the World Cup to be held on home soil next year is in good hands. Kishan made his highest-ever ODI score, whilst Iyer followed up his half-century in the first game with an even better innings. He also showed he could read the game on its merits, recognising that it was his job to hold down an end whilst his partner was in full flow.

Add to that another useful cameo from Samson, and it suggests that India have plenty of strength in depth when those who are away on World Cup duty are added into the equation. The hardest job for the selectors may be in deciding who they can leave out.




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