David Miller's stunning century proved to be in vain as India earned a 16-run victory over South Africa to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their T20I series.

India cruised to an eight-wicket win in the low-scoring opener on Wednesday, but the runs flowed in Guwahati on Sunday as Suryakumar Yadav (61) and KL Rahul (57) helped the hosts post an imposing 237-3.

Suryakumar and Rahul both hit half-centuries in the first match, and they were at it again as South Africa's bowling attack failed to get control of the match, with only Keshav Maharaj (2-23) picking up wickets as the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi struggled.

India's score was their fourth-highest in T20Is, aided by important innings from captain Rohit Sharma (43) and Virat Kohli's unbeaten 49. Yadav's runs, meanwhile, came from just 22 balls, five of which he despatched for six.

South Africa's chase started woefully, as captain Temba Bavuma and Rilee Rossouw were both dismissed for nought by Arshdeep Singh in the second over.

Quinton de Kock and Miller fought to keep South Africa in the game, as former captain De Kock made a snappy 69 not out while Miller hit 106no from 47 balls.

Despite those efforts, the Proteas never truly threatened to chase the challenging total as they lost the series with a game left to play, finishing on 221-3. The third match takes place on Tuesday in Indore.

Record-setting Suryakumar

Suryakumar became the fastest player to reach 1,000 T20I runs in terms of balls faced, as he hit five fours and as many maximums to post his second half-century in a row.

He reached 1,000 T20I runs in 573 balls, 31 fewer than the previous record-holder Glenn Maxwell required, and helped India to set a huge target as the Proteas bowlers were carted to all parts.

Rabada struggles to make a dent

A key member of South Africa's pace attack, Rabada failed to make a significant impact as he finished with figures of 0-57 in his four overs.

The most expensive of the visitors' bowlers, Rabada was hit for 10 boundaries as India stormed to a total out of South Africa's reach.

South Africa emphatically consigned England to a first Test defeat of their new era as Ben Stokes' side were thrashed by an innings and 12 runs inside three days at Lord's.

The potent Proteas pace attack did much of the damage once again, bowling a fragile England out for only 149 in 37.4 overs on Friday.

Dean Elgar's men dominated from start to finish in London, taking a first innings lead of 161 by posting 326 all out in reply to England's 165.

The tourists wrapped up the victory just over two-and-half days into the first of three Tests in the series to go 1-0 up, with the wickets shared between magnificent quicks Anrich Nortje (3-27), Kagiso Rabada (2-27), Marco Jansen (2-13) and Lungi Ngidi (1-15) after Keshav Maharaj took 2-27.

It was a chastening defeat for England, Stuart Broad and Alex Lees the joint top-scorers with 35 as they lost their perfect record since Stokes was appointed captain and Brendon McCullum head coach.

Broad took a brilliant one-handed catch for Matthew Potts to dismiss Rabada after South Africa resumed on 289-7, before claiming two wickets of his own to end the innings and leave Nortje unbeaten on 28.

Spinner Maharaj had England in trouble on 38-2 at lunch, dismissing the out-of-sorts Zak Crawley (13) leg before and trapping Ollie Pope (five) in front with the last ball of the morning session.

The Proteas pace attack again came to the fore in the afternoon session, Ngidi getting rid of Joe Root (six) before a fired up Nortje had Jonny Bairstow (18), Lees and Ben Foakes (nought) caught behind.

Broad came out swinging (35) as he put on 55 with Ben Stokes for the seventh wicket before he was deceived by a slower ball from Rabada and Jansen cleaned up Potts.

Stokes (20) picked out Maharaj in the deep knowing he was almost out of partners to become Rabada's second victim and Jansen bowled James Anderson with a quick yorker to put England out of their misery.

Proteas fire to blow England away

England had won all four Tests under their new coach and captain, whitewashing New Zealand 3-0 and beating India in a rearranged match at Edgbaston.

They were brought down to earth by a ruthless South Africa, who showed why they are top of the World Test Championship. Their fast bowlers fired on all cylinders as England were beaten by an innings at Lord's for only the second time in 52 Tests since June 1993.

Left-arm tweaker Maharaj was not required to bowl in the first innings, but he set the ball rolling in England's second innings before the quicks ripped through the hosts.

Crawley could pay the price

Opener Crawley has been backed by Stokes and McCullum, but he could pay the price for two more failures.

England must regroup before the second Test at Old Trafford, where Crawley may have to step aside. 

South Africa took control on a rain-affected opening day of the first Test against England as their pace attack fired at Lord's.

Just 32 overs were possible on Wednesday, yet there was enough time for the Proteas to reduce Ben Stokes' side to 116-6.

Anrich Nortje claimed 3-43 and the fit-again Kagiso Rabada took 2-36 in a ruthless display from the fast bowlers before the heavens opened in London.

Under-pressure opener Zak Crawley fell for only nine, with Alex Lees the first man to depart for five as Rabada struck twice early on his return from injury.

Joe Root was unable to provide any respite as he departed leg before to Marco Jansen (1-18) before Jonny Bairstow was clean bowled for a duck by Nortje.

Stokes (20) and Ollie Pope (61 not out) added 45 runs for the fifth wicket, but the captain was squared up by Nortje's final ball of the morning session and caught at third slip by Keegan Petersen.

Having lost five wickets prior to lunch, Ben Foakes became Nortje's third victim when he was cleaned up by a ripper and rain forced the end of play two deliveries later.

To cover the loss of overs on day one of the first Test in the three-match series, the remaining four days will now see 98 overs per day, with dry weather forecast.

 

England blown away by Proteas pace attack

The wicket of Foakes was Nortje's 50th in Test cricket in his 13th match, his raw pace proving far too hot for England's batters to handle.

Rabada was also hugely impressive a dominant display from the tourists and he is now five wickets away from 250 for South Africa.

Pope provides some hope

England have won their past four Tests, making this their best-such run since a five-match streak in 2018, but they already have their work cut out after a poor start at Lord's.

Pope provided the only positive with that his eighth Test half-century, though even then he had the fortune of being dropped by Peterson on 45.

Heinrich Klaasen smashed a career-best 81 as South Africa claimed a 2-0 T20I series lead with a four-wicket victory over India.

Ishan Kishan (34) and Shreyas Iyer (40) offered India a bright start at the Barabati Stadium on Sunday.

But the hosts' middle-order batters struggled before Dinesh Karthik scored a brisk 30 off 21 balls to propel India to 148-6.

Having chased an improbable 212 in the first meeting, South Africa initially struggled this time around with Bhuvneshwar Kumar reducing the tourists to 29-3 after an opening spell of three wickets for 10 runs.

Captain Temba Bavuma watched as wickets fell around him but posted an important 35 before being bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal (1-49).

Bavuma combined in a vital 64-run partnership with Klaasen, whose brutal 81 came off just 46 deliveries before he was removed by Harshal Patel (1-17) and Wayne Parnell (one) fell to Kumar (4-13).

David Miller (20 not out) then saw South Africa over the line with 10 balls to spare as the Proteas furthered their advantage in the five-match series.

Rapid Rabada

Rabada became the fourth South African bowler to claim 50 wickets in men's T20Is when he dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad for one in the first over.

The fast bowler achieved the feat in his 42nd game, making him the third-fastest bowler from South Africa to a half-century of dismissals, behind only Dale Steyn (35) and Imran Tahir (31).

Hendricks misses opportunity

Chasing a far from imposing total, Reeza Hendricks had the chance to make his mark as an opener, replacing South Africa stalwart Quinton de Kock.

However, the 32-year-old made just four before being bowled by Kumar as he failed to leave a lasting impression in a rare opportunity at the top of the order.

Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone produced their best displays of the Indian Premier League season to lead the Punjab Kings to a dominant win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The England duo each hit half-centuries as the Kings hit 209-9, before Kagiso Rabada (3-21), Rishi Dhawan (2-36), and Rahul Chahar (2-37) wrecked RCB's top-order.

Glenn Maxwell's 35 marked the best individual performance of Bangalore's chase, as they finished 54 runs short of the Kings' tally.

With 14 points, RCB's place in the play-offs now looks vulnerable ahead of their final clash with table-topping Gujarat Titans, while the Kings kept their own hopes of a top-four finish alive with two games left to play.

Having been put in to bat by Faf du Plessis, Punjab quickly set about building a tough target, reaching 60 before their first loss when Shikhar Dhawan went for 21.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa followed, but that simply allowed Livingstone to step up and produce a terrific display alongside Bairstow, who struck 66 from 29 balls before falling to Shahbaz Ahmed in the 10th over.

Livingstone plundered a rapid 70 to ensure the Kings recovered, and RCB's hopes were severely dented when Virat Kohli, Du Plessis and Mahipal Lomror were sent packing within the opening five overs.

Maxwell's 12th-over dismissal all but sealed victory for Punjab, with Rabada adding the wickets of Shahbaz Ahmed and Harshal Patel.

Dhawan's blushes spared as Bairstow and Livingstone turn on the style

Although the Kings' best-performing batsmen Dhawan fell short of his season average of 40, a combined 136 from Bairstow and Livingstone propelled Punjab to victory.

Rabada on a roll

Fast-bowler Rabada led the Kings' attack admirably to end the contest with three wickets, taking his tally for the season to 21, some seven clear of his closest team-mate in Rahul. 

Kagiso Rabada and Shikhar Dhawan inspired Punjab Kings to an eight-wicket victory over Indian Premier League leaders Gujarat Titans on Tuesday.

The Titans had won five matches in a row – no side has managed a longer run this season – but could only crawl to 143-8 from their 20 overs after electing to bat first.

Rabada returned to his best form as he took the wickets of Wriddhiman Saha (21), Rahul Tewatia (11), Rashid Khan (0) and Lockie Ferguson (5) to finish with figures of 4-33.

Only two Titans players scored more than 11 runs, with Sai Sudharsan at least giving his side hope with an unbeaten 65.

The Kings' reply got off to a shaky start when losing opener Jonny Bairstow (1) early on, but Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa mounted an 87-run stand for the second wicket.

Dhawan powered to a half-century and finished with an unbeaten 62 off 53 balls, which included eight fours, while Rajapaksa went for 40 from the bowling of Ferguson.

It was left to Liam Livingstone to get the Kings over the line and ensure that his side remain in contention for the playoffs with an impressive 30 off just 10 deliveries.


Shikhar shines again

Dhawan has now topped the scorecard 51 times for Punjab, putting him level with Rohit Sharma and behind only David Warner (57) in IPL history.

He now has three half-centuries this season and his 369 runs from 10 innings is the third most of any player, behind only KL Rahul (451) and Jos Buttler (588).

Livingstone lives up to his billing

After Dhawan and Rajapaksa had laid the foundations, big-hitting Livingstone struck three sixes in quick succession to light up DY Patil Stadium.

That included a monstrous 117-metre drive off Mohammed Shami's delivery, making it the biggest six of this season's IPL thus far.

Kagiso Rabada claimed a five-wicket haul as South Africa levelled the ODI series with a seven-wicket thrashing of Bangladesh.

The Tigers were on a high after winning the opener at Centurion, but they were brought back down to earth in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Proteas paceman Rabada took 5-39 as the tourists were restricted to 194-9 after Tamim Iqbal won the toss and elected to bat first.

Bangladesh were reduced to 94-6 before Afif Hossain made 72 and Mehidy Hasan struck 38 to take them up to a reasonable total.

But South Africa coasted to victory to keep the series alive, Quinton de Kock smashing a quickfire 62 and Kyle Verreynne scoring an unbeaten 58 to get them home with 76 balls to spare.

Lungi Ngidi (1-34) got rid of Tamim and Shakib Al Hasan was caught by Verreynne at cover without scoring off the bowling of Rabada, who also dismissed Litton Das and Yasir Ali cheaply.

Wayne Parnell trapped Mushfiqur Rahim leg before prior to sustaining a hamstring injury, but a seventh-wicket stand of 86 between Afif and Mehidy gave Bangladesh hope.

South Africa made light work of chasing down their target, though, as De Kock raced to a half-century in only 27 balls before Verreynne and captain Temba Bavuma combined for an 82-run stand.

Bavuma fell for 37 when he picked out Shoriful Islam with a sweep, but Verreynne and Rassie van der Dussen saw South Africa home at a canter.

 

Rabada rips through Tigers

Bangladesh were unable to live with fast bowler Rabada, who claimed his second five-wicket haul for his country in the 50-over format.

Rabada only took one wicket in the first match of the series, but he claimed three early scalps and returned to send Afif on his way before ending Mehidy's knock in the same over.

De Kock cuts loose

Wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock and Janneman Malan (26) put on 86 in just 12.3 overs in an opening stand that set the Proteas well on their way to victory.

De Kock struck two sixes and another nine boundaries before Afif took an excellent catch for Shakib to dismiss the left-hander, but Verreynne and Bavuma looked in excellent touch as South Africa cruised home.

South Africa secured a drawn series with New Zealand as they clinched a 198-run win on the final day of the second Test in Christchurch.

New Zealand began day five on 94-4 but their hopes of holding on to seal a series win were dashed by the Proteas' attack.

Devon Conway was the man holding the New Zealand second innings together, resuming unbeaten on 60.

But he fell eight runs shy of a century and his exit opened the floodgates as the emerging Marco Jansen excelled with the ball and Keshav Maharaj claimed the final wicket to ensure the spoils were shared.

Lutho Sipamla removed Conway when he trapped him lbw with a full delivery and the Black Caps' resistance was never the same thereafter.

Tom Blundell (44) missed out on a half-century and, more importantly, removed himself as a set batsman when his half-hearted pull shot off Jansen only went as far as Temba Bavuma at midwicket.

Left-armer Jansen then removed Colin de Grandhomme, scorer of an unbeaten century in the first innings, with a short ball, leaving the tail to try to prolong the inevitable.

Kagiso Rabada ran to deep leg side to help Jansen secure his third by dismissing Kyle Jamieson before Rabada got in the act himself, drawing an edge to midwicket from Tim Southee.

Rain arrived to frustrate South Africa and force umpires to call an early tea, but the Proteas' wait for the decisive wicket was ended when Maharaj trapped Matt Henry in front for a duck.

More Marco magic

After being limited to two wickets in the first Test, Jansen was back to more prolific form here, following up 4-98 in the first innings with 3-63 in the second. He has taken at least five wickets in all but one of his five Test matches and claimed seven in three of his last four.

Rabada (3-46) finished with eight wickets in the match while spinner Maharaj provided crucial support with 3-75.

Elgar stays unbeaten

Having overseen a victory in the West Indies and a home win over India, a drawn series in New Zealand means Dean Elgar is still yet to lose a series as South Africa captain. If a young attack keeps performing at this level, he will be able to look forward to plenty more victories.

South Africa need six wickets on the final day for victory after Kyle Verreynne's maiden Test century left New Zealand needing to pull off a record run chase in the second Test.

New Zealand will resume on day five at 94-4, trailing by 332 runs after the Proteas declared at 354-9, setting the Black Caps an improbable target of 426 to win.

If the Proteas manage to clinch victory, it will deny New Zealand their first-ever Test series victory over South Africa after dominating the first Test at the same venue, Hagley Oval, last week.

New Zealand faced 42 overs after Dean Elgar's declaration late in the middle session, with Kagiso Rabada adding two more wickets to his first-innings five-wicket haul, while Keshav Maharaj also claimed two dismissals.

Verreynne was crucial to South Africa establishing complete dominance having resumed on day four at 5-140, with an overall lead of 211 runs.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman was the perennial figure as the Proteas added 214 runs to their overnight score, with handy contributions from Wiann Mulder (35) and Kagiso Rabada (47), whose knock came from 34 balls and was a career high with the bat.

Verreynne and Rabada combined for a 78-run eighth-wicket stand which took the life out of New Zealand, who had hoped for a final-innings target no greater than 300.

Shortly after Rabada was dismissed, Verreynne brought up his maiden Test century swiping a length ball wide of fine leg.

Verreynne finished unbeaten on 136, with Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner all claiming two wickets each.

Tasked with a record run chase, New Zealand's pursuit started disastrously with Rabada dismissing Will Young and Tom Latham in the first and third overs. New Zealand were soon 25-3 when Maharaj - who sent down 16 overs in a row - bowled Henry Nicholls.

Devon Conway (60*) and Daryl Mitchell steadied the innings but Maharaj dismissed the latter for 24 late in the day.

Record run chase required

South Africa's declaration left New Zealand needing an unlikely 426 to win, which exceeds the current fourth-innings world record chase of 418 by West Indies against Australia in St John's in 2003. With the Black Caps four down, that is unlikely to be threatened.

Verreynne firming as worthy de Kock's successor

Verreynne's opportunity in the Proteas line-up has come following Quinton de Kock's premature retirement and he is beginning to prove he is the future for South Africa after only six Tests.

South Africa needs six wickets on the final day for victory after Kyle Verreynne's maiden Test century left New Zealand needing to pull off a record run chase in the second Test.

New Zealand will resume on day five at 94-4, trailing by 332 runs after the Proteas declared at 354-9, setting the Black Caps an improbable target of 426 to win.

If the Proteas manage to clinch victory, it will deny New Zealand their first-ever Test series victory over South Africa after dominating the first Test at the same venue, Hagley Oval, last week.

New Zealand faced 42 overs after Dean Elgar's declaration late in the middle session, with Kagiso Rabada adding two more wickets to his first-innings five-wicket haul, while Keshav Maharaj also claimed two dismissals.

Verreynne was crucial to South Africa establishing complete dominance having resumed on day four at 5-140, with an overall lead of 211 runs.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman was the perennial figure as the Proteas added 214 runs to their overnight score, with handy contributions from Wiann Mulder (35) and Kagiso Rabada (47), whose knock came from 34 balls and was a career high with the bat.

Verreynne and Rabada combined for a 78-run eighth-wicket stand which took the life out of New Zealand, who had hoped for a final-innings target no greater than 300.

Shortly after Rabada was dismissed, Verreynne brought up his maiden Test century swiping a length ball wide of fine leg.

Verreynne finished unbeaten on 136*, with Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner all claiming two wickets each.

Tasked with a record run chase, New Zealand's pursuit started disastrously with Rabada dismissing Will Young and Tom Latham in the first and third overs. New Zealand were soon 25-3 when Maharaj  - who sent down 16 overs in a row - bowled Henry Nicholls.

Devon Conway (60*) and Daryl Mitchell steadied the innings but Maharaj dismissed the latter for 24 late in the day.

Record run chase required

South Africa's declaration left New Zealand needing an unlikely 426 to win, which exceeds the current fourth-innings world record chase of 418 by the West Indies against Australia in St John's in 2003. With the Black Caps four down, that is unlikely to be threatened.

Verreynne firming as worthy de Kock's successor

Verreynne's opportunity in the Proteas line-up has come following Quinton de Kock's premature retirement and he is beginning to prove he is the future for South Africa after only six Tests.

New Zealand rallied led by Colin de Grandhomme's century but South Africa remain well placed with a 211-run lead after three days of the second Test at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

The Proteas reached stumps at 140-5 with Kyle Verreyne (22*) and Wiaan Mulder (10*) at the crease after securing a 71-run first-innings advantage having bowled out the hosts for 293 led by Kagiso Rabada's five-wicket haul

New Zealand had resumed trailing by more than 200 runs with five wickets in hand, but de Grandhomme's 133-run sixth-wicket stand with Daryl Mitchell narrowed the deficit.

De Grandhomme remained unbeaten 120*, notching up his second Test century prior to lunch, after Mitchell was trapped lbw by Keshav Maharaj for 60.

Rabada (5-60) and Marco Jansen (4-98), who had employed a short-ball plan, finished off the Black Caps' resistance in the second session despite Neil Wagner's aggressive 21 from 18 balls that included three fours and a six.

New Zealand offered hope with three early breakthroughs, reducing South Africa to 38-3 with Tim Southee (2-28) dismissing both openers.

Southee trapped first-innings centurion Sarel Erwee lbw for 8 in the third over with an inswinger which the opener reviewed without success.

Tom Blundell pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch in the 11th over as Southee drew an edge from Dean Elgar bowling around the wicket.

Rassie van der Dussen steadied South Africa's innings with 45 before being caught and bowled by workhorse Wagner (2-44) who also took Temba Bavuma's wicket in the final session during a tireless spell.

Verreyne and Mulder took the Proteas' lead past 200, although New Zealand will remain hopeful of claiming the final five wickets promptly on day four and chasing a target below 300.

Black Caps remain hopeful

New Zealand are incredibly chasing their first-ever Test series victory over South Africa and would have been confident of achieving that after a dominant first Test triumph.

The Proteas are in control but de Grandhomme suggested there was hope within the camp. He said: "I think it's in the balance, they're a bit ahead, but if we can get a few quick wickets tomorrow, we can be back in it."

Rabada claims 11th Test five-fa

Rabada wrapped up the New Zealand batting innings with wickets from successive deliveries, utilizing the short ball for both dismissals.

The pair of wickets earned 26-year-old Rabada his 11th Test five-wicket haul but he is likely to have more work to do, ahead of the Black Caps' final-innings chase.

South Africa took control of the second Test in Christchurch on day two as Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen ripped through the New Zealand top order.

An unbeaten partnership of 66 between Colin de Grandhomme (54 not out) and Daryl Mitchell (29 not out) rescued the Black Caps from 91-5 after the tourists had reached 364 all out in their first innings.

The Proteas resumed on 238-3, but lost four wickets in the first session as Matt Henry and Neil Wagner picked up two each, before Wagner also dismissed Rabada (6) shortly after play resumed.

There was a brief rain delay during the second session that seemed to take the bowlers out of their rhythm as Jansen (37 not out) and Keshav Maharaj (36) added a handy partnership of 62 runs in 13 overs.

New Zealand's reply got off to the worst possible start as Rabada (3-37) struck twice to get rid of Tom Latham for a duck and Will Young for just three. Devon Conway (16) and Henry Nicholls (39) put up some resistance but both ultimately fell to poor shots against Jansen (2-48).

After Tom Blundell came and went, scoring six runs in his six balls, Mitchell and De Grandhomme set about trying to rescue things for their team.

Mitchell ticked over calmly while De Grandhomme hit a 36-ball 50, including two sixes, though was held up after that, mostly by Maharaj's dangerous spin as he scored just four more runs from his next 25 deliveries.

Dean Elgar burned his team's last review with the penultimate delivery of the day as Lutho Sipamla thought he had Mitchell lbw, but replays showed an inside edge as the hosts closed day two still 207 runs behind with five wickets remaining.

Jansen continues impressive start to Test career

This is just the fifth Test Jansen has played in but he is already stepping up in key moments, hitting an impressive 37 not out to add what could be crucial runs at the end of South Africa's first innings, before also doing damage with the ball.

The 21-year-old took an impressive 19 wickets in three Tests against India, and although he and his team-mates all struggled in the first Test in New Zealand, he in particular has come back with a bang at the Hagley Oval.

De Grandhomme rolls back the years

It was a difficult moment to arrive at the crease with his team still 273 runs behind and five wickets down, but the 35-year-old utilised his trademark aggression and attacked South Africa's bowlers, hitting the only two sixes of the Test so far.

This was De Grandhomme's ninth 50 of his Test career, but he has only gone on to score a century once (v West Indies in 2017). New Zealand could really do with him doubling that amount on day three.

South Africa will have to do without Kagiso Rabada when they face India in a three-match ODI series.

Rabada was released from the squad on the eve of Wednesday's first game at Boland Park, afforded a rest ahead of the Tests against New Zealand next month.

The selectors did not call up a replacement for the paceman, who helped the Proteas come from behind to consign India to a 2-1 defeat in the recent Test series.

Spinner George Linde has been retained from the Test squad and the left-armer will be hoping to add to his tally of two ODI appearances.

South Africa have not won an ODI series since a whitewash of Australia in March 2020, and their most recent series against the Netherlands was postponed due to concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Virat Kohli is set to play in his first match since stepping down as India's Test captain.

With Rohit Sharma out of the tour due to a hamstring injury, KL Rahul leads the side and will open as the tourists strive to put behind them the disappointment of failing to win a first Test series in South Africa.

India have won the last two ODI series they have contested, beating both England and Sri Lanka by a 2-1 margin. The tourists have added Jayant Yadav and Navdeep Saini to their squad, with Washington Sundar missing out after testing positive for COVID-19.

South Africa were hammered 5-1 when they last faced India in an ODI series on home soil four years ago, Kohli claiming the man of the series award.

There will be no World Cup Super League points to play for in this series, but South Africa must build some momentum as they are currently outside the automatic qualification spots for the showpiece in India next year.

Kohli overdue a century

Kohli brought a halt to his long reign as Test skipper a day after South Africa were beaten by seven wickets in the third and final Test at Newlands.

The 33-year-old had relinquished the Twenty20 captaincy following the World Cup late last year and was then replaced by Rohit as ODI skipper.

Kohli had to contend with further questions about his lack of runs ahead of that decisive match in Cape Town and you have to go back to November 2019 for his last international century, that coming against Bangladesh in the longest format.

He has not reached three figures in an ODI since a game against West Indies in August 2019, but averages 59.07 in this format and could thrive without leadership duties.

South Africa have unearthed a gem in Jansen

Marco Jansen was magnificent in his first Test series, the all-rounder taking 19 wickets at an average of 16.47 as he caused the India batters all sorts of problems.

South Africa have unearthed another gem in the form of the towering 21-year-old, who has a very big future ahead of him and can make a big impact in his first taste of ODI cricket.

Quinton de Kock brought his Test career to an end after a defeat to India in the first Test at SuperSport Park but can still have a big role to play in the shorter formats.

Skipper Temba Bavuma impressed with the bat in the Test series and South Africa will look to him to make some significant contributions as they battle to inflict another defeat on India.

Kagiso Rabada and Virat Kohli enjoyed a thrilling personal tussle as South Africa got the better of India on day one of the final Test in their three-match series.

It is winner takes all in the series decider, and India put themselves in after winning the toss for the third straight time. However, in overcast conditions in Cape Town, South Africa's quicks thrived as the tourists were bowled out for 223.

Making his 50th Test appearance, Rabada (4-73) led their attack brilliantly, dismissing Mayank Agarwal (15), Ajinkya Rahane (9) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) before he finally came out on top in his battle with India's captain.

Playing his 99th Test, Kohli was the only India batsman to score above 50 as he showed his class with a patiently crafted 79, with support from Cheteshwar Pujara (43) and Rishabh Pant (27), both of whom fell to Marco Jansen, who finished with 3-55.

Kohli changed tack after Pant's dismissal, getting on the front foot to propel India over 200, though Rabada got his man when India's skipper – who had survived a South Africa review earlier in the innings – pushed at a ball outside off stump.

Lungi Ngidi got a deserved wicket to finish off India's innings, giving the hosts chance to take to the crease in the final session, with the cloud cover having made way for sunshine.

Proteas captain Deal Elgar was drawn into an edge by Jasprit Bumrah (1-0), giving India a boost, but Keshav Maharaj (6) and Aiden Markram (8) guided South Africa to 17-1 at stumps.

Restrained Kohli goes up against rampant Rabada

Kohli came out in the 13th over with his side at 33-2, and provided just the tonic to South Africa's rapid start, leaving 65 of the first 100 deliveries that were outside his off stump.

Over the last five years of Test matches, just four batters have shown more restraint and patience, while his contest with Rabada was fascinating, particularly between the 47th and 49th overs, when Kohli was beaten twice and edged just short of second slip.

Rabada came up with the goods in a final session that saw six India wickets fall, though Kohli's stand could just have kept India in this Test after a dreadful start. It is just a shame no fans could be at Newlands to witness it.

Brilliant Bumrah hits back

South Africa had to face eight overs in the final half-hour of play, and four of those came from the quite sensational Bumrah, who bowled 23 dot balls and took the wicket of Elgar to boot.

Returning captain Virat Kohli says he has nothing to prove as India go in search of a historic Test series victory over South Africa at Newlands.

Kohli will return to lead the tourists for the decider in Cape Town on Tuesday after missing a seven-wicket defeat at the Wanderers last week due to back spasms.

Hanuma Vihari would appear to be the most likely batter to step aside for the fit-again skipper in Cape Town, where India have never beaten the Proteas in five attempts in the longest format and must end that record to secure a first Test series win in South Africa.

Kohli's last Test century came against Bangladesh back in November 2019, but the 33-year-old feels the increased scrutiny on him is due to the incredible exploits that have established him as one of the best players in the world.

"It's not the first time [his form has been called into question]," Kohli said. "It's happened a few times in my career - England 2014 was one of those phases. 

"But the thing is, I don't look at myself from the lens that the outside world looks at me with, and eventually the standards that we're talking about today, that I'm being compared with, have been set by myself, and more than anyone else, I take a lot of pride in wanting to do the best thing for the team that I can, and wanting to perform regularly for the team, and hence I've been able to do that for a long period of time.

"You have to understand, in sport sometimes, things do not go the way you want them to go, but at the end of the day I realise, as a player, as a batsman, that I've been involved in very important moments for the team over the last calendar year or so, and for me that is a matter of a lot of pride, that I have been part of very important partnerships when the team needed me, and eventually those moments have been crucial for us in many Test matches.

"So sometimes your focal point has to shift; if all the time you're going to look at yourself and judge yourself on the basis of numbers and milestones, I don't think you'll ever be content or happy with what you're doing. 

"I take a lot of pride and happiness in the process that I'm following, and I'm at peace with how I'm playing and what I'm being able to do for the team when there is a tricky scenario, and as long as I'm doing that, and taking a lot of pride and motivation to be in those moments. 

"I have nothing else to worry about, because the reality of the situation is that you eventually want to make impact performances for the team, and my best effort is always to do that, and I truly believe that I don't need to prove anything to anyone.

"It's just that when you're in the place where I am, you are going to be constantly judged, and that is the job of the outside world. I don't look at myself like that."

Half-century for Proteas paceman Rabada 

Rabada will play his 50th Test at a ground where South Africa have only lost once in the longest format - against England two years ago - since the start of 2015.

Captain Dean Elgar, man of the match in the second Test after making a brilliant unbeaten 96 as South Africa chased down 240 to level the series at 1-1, revealed Rabada needed a "rocket" to fire him up following a loss in the first Test.

Rabada responded by taking three wickets in both innings in Johannesburg and Elgar will expect him to fire again with the pressure on in the final Test.

 

India ponder Siraj replacement

The tourists will be without Mohammed Siraj after he suffered a hamstring injury in the second Test, so either Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav are set to get the nod but Kohli kept his cards close to his chest on the eve of the match.

He said: "We are yet to sit down - myself, the head coach, the vice-captain - to decide what we want to do about [Siraj's] replacement.

"I say that because of our bench strength. It's difficult for us to figure out who will play because everyone is at the top of their game, bowling well, batting well, and these things become a point of discussion, contention, and you have to obviously have a healthy discussion around a decision like that, and just agree that everyone feels balanced about it.

"So yeah, we're yet to have that discussion, but I would rather be in this position where we are yet to decide who's going to play rather than having to figure out other options in terms of managing our balance and stuff like that."

Page 1 of 2
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.