India vs South Africa 3rd Odi Highlights | india south africa 3rd odi highlights | india south africa highlights | ind vs sa 3rd odi highlights
India 223 for 8 (Yusuf 59, Harbhajan 23*, Morne 3-28) beat South Africa 220 (du Plessis 60, Duminy 52) by two wickets
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Yusuf Pathan swung the game India’s way with three brutal shots and Harbhajan Singh sealed the win with two violent game-breaking hits. Morne Morkel had threatened to derail India’s chase with an inspired performance but it was India who held their nerve, and took a 2-1 lead in the series. India were 104 runs adrift of the target when Yusuf cemented his World Cup spot by biffing Johan Botha for three sixes in an over to push India ahead. When he fell, 39 runs short of the target, Harbhajan crashed Wayne Parnell and Morne for stunning sixes at vital moments of the chase to clinch the game, with 10 balls to spare.
India had lost five wickets and looked down for the count on a sluggish pitch where stroke-making wasn’t easy when Yusuf launched a violent assault on Botha. He muscled three sixes, the last of which flew out of the stadium, to loot 19 runs in the 30th over. Yusuf added 75 runs with Suresh Raina, who threw his wicket away with a wild shot in the 37th over, before falling in the 40th to a stunning catch by Morne, who arched back to pouch an upper cut over his head at third man. His dismissal put South Africa ahead but Harbhajan seized the moment. He added 26 runs with Zaheer Khan before stitching together another 15 with Ashish Nehra to take India home. Harbhajan took the Powerplay in the 43rd over, smote Parnell for a six over wide mid-off in the 45th, and flat-batted Morne, bowling his last over, beyond long-off in the 47th to kill the contest.
Skipper Graeme Smith will be delighted with his own form in the previous game, but the failures of Colin Ingram and David Miller will be a cause for concern. Both got starts in Johannesburg, but with Jacques Kallis set to come back to reclaim his berth in the World Cup, only one of the promising duo will make the XI next month. This is the best possible moment for both players to show they are ready for the big stage. AB de Villiers and JP Duminy give the middle-order a solid look and will look to continue their good form.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe surprised one and all with his great showing in both games, as he added another 4-wicket haul to add to his 4 from the first game, and has most definitely clinched the third seamer’s spot ahead of Wayne Parnell. With the four seamer strategy highly unlikely to be persisted with in the subcontinent, it might be a good time to bench Parnell and bring in one of the 3 slow-bowling options the Proteas have in their squad. Pakistan-born Imran Tahir provides the best wicket-taking option with his brand of aggressive legbreaks, and would be favourite to make his debut, but Faf du Plessis and Robin Peterson boast of stronger batting credentials.
India have been dealt a massive blow as Sachin Tendulkar is set to return home following a hamstring injury. This leaves captain MS Dhoni woefully short of openers as both Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had pulled out before the start of the series with injuries. Parthiv Patel is being flown into South Africa as Tendulkar’s replacement, but with the wicketkeeper batsmen not being in the initial squad, it remains to be seen when he will actually join the squad should he require to get a visa first!
Tendulkar’s absence means the in-form Virat Kohli should partner Murali Vijay at the top, with Yusuf Pathan slotting into the middle-order. Following his brutal hundred against the Kiwis at home recently, one would have expected Pathan to be a certainty in the Indian lineup, but MS has opted for both Vijay and Rohit Sharma ahead of him, probably a good call considering that they are better technically equipped to handle South African conditions. Yuvraj Singh’s return to form with an assured fifty will be a massive relief for Dhoni, and he would be keen to get a good score personally under his belt as well.
On the bowling front, Munaf Patel has made a strong bid for selection with two superlative performances, the second winning India the match from an improbable situation and also securing a Man-of-the-Match award for him. Ashish Nehra has, until recently, been a very steady operator in 50-over cricket, and has been the go-to man for MS in the PowerPlays, but his lackluster displays in both games raise a lot of questions. It will be interesting to see if Dhoni persists with Nehra or give S Sreesanth or Ishant Sharma to stake a claim for a World Cup spot. Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh continue to be India’s premier bowlers, and might be rested for a game or so, but only later on in the series.
|Innings||Dot balls||4s||6s||PP1||PP2||PP3||Last 10 overs||NB/Wides|
|South Africa||140||11||0||39/1||18/1 (11-15)||25/4 (45-49)||48/6||0/4|
|India||188||23||5||36/1||20/1 (11-15)||27/1 (42-47)||41/1||0/6|
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