Series and History On The Line for Proteas – Take Two

The Proteas had history for the taking on Thursday, and they so nearly pulled off their 1st ever ODI Series win in India didn’t they? Our cricket guy Geoff Wakefield looks at the Proteas final chance to change history against India.

That said, as thrilling an escape act as AB de Villiers so nearly pulled off in Chennai, South Africa were out played by a determined Virat Kohli, while they lost their trial by spin and comprehensively so.

The toss at the MA Chidambaram Stadium proved crucial as the wicket only got slower as the day wore on. The conditions were perfectly exploited by the Indian spin axis of Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, and Harbhajan Singh during South Africa’s chase.

The spin trio bowled 30 overs in the game at a cost of 145 runs while picking up 4 wickets. Compare that to Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir, who bowled 18 overs, leaked 109 runs, and did not take any wicket.

The score could have been worse as India sat at 266 for 3 with 32 balls still to be bowled but Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada were again outstanding in the death overs. However, that was a couple of pages too late in the story of the game.

South Africa lost the game when they lost the balance of their side. As I said before the match, JP Duminy’s absence was MASSIVE.

Reflecting on what went right, the Proteas attack were able to slow India down in the closing overs. Quinton de Kock is definitely back in touch, and well… AB.

That was about it as far as I am concerned.

Five out-and-out bowlers were used to try and address the balance problem in game four. Going into the final game, the series decider in Mumbai, I still think one of Khaya Zondo or Dean Elgar must be allowed to stake their claim. Both can and do bowl for their franchises with Elgar by far the more accomplished with ball. Zondo though is the reserve batsman.

Russell Domingo, if I were you, I would test the young Dolphin’s metal. You have history and everything that comes with it to gain. What have you got to lose?

Oh wait…

I’m glad that I’m not Russell Domingo right now.

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