Tuesday, October 27, 2015

De Villiers' heroics and India's finishing woes

South Africa beat India for the first time in a bilateral series in India and they did it in grand style. The Proteas rang up a record score on Indian soil of 438 and essentially batted India out of the contest, winning the game by 214 runs.
File picture of AB de Villiers. AFP
File picture of AB de Villiers. AFP
The rest of the series was much closer though. South Africa won the first game by a mere five runs before India rebounded to win a comparatively low-scoring second ODI. South Africa went back in front after claiming a tight third game, where their bowlers got the better of India's batsmen at the death. With the series on the line in Chennai, India's batting finally clicked and they coasted to victory to set up the series decider in Mumbai
Unfortunately for the home side, that only set up South Africa's record-setting romp, with Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers all scoring centuries.
It was the tenth time the last match of a bilateral series involving at least five matches (involving India) decided the fate of the series. India have now won four and lost six of these encounters.
The series provided only the second instance of all matches in a series (five matches or more) being won by side batting first. The only other time this happened was in Pakistan-South Africa series in the UAE in 2013.
A look at the performance of two teams on various parameters should make interesting reading. This is how two teams performed with the bat in the series:
South Africa consumed fewer dot balls and hit more boundaries, whereas India were slightly ahead in taking ones, twos and threes.
This is how two teams scored their runs in various phases of the innings – first 10 overs, middle 30 overs and last 10 overs. South Africa were ahead of India in all the three phases.
South Africa players topped the batting and bowling charts for the series.
South Africa’s 438 for 4 in the fifth ODI is now the highest total by any team against India. It is also the highest ODI total on Indian soil and the joint-third highest total in all ODIs.
A total of 400 has now been scored on 17 occasions in ODIs. South Africa have done this most often – six times, followed by India (5). Australia and Sri Lanka have made 400-totals twice each, whereas New Zealand and England have done it once each.
Three batsmen scored hundreds in South African innings at Wankhede – Quinton de Kock (109), Faf du Plessis (133*rh) and AB de Villiers (119). In the entire history of one-day internationals, it was only the second time that three batsmen scored hundreds in the same innings. The only other instance had come earlier this year when Hashim Amla (153*), Rilee Rossouw (128) and AB de Villiers (149) scored hundreds together against West Indies at Johannesburg. South Africa ended with 439 for 2- their highest ODI total.
The South African innings included as many as 20 sixes – the second most ever hit in an ODI innings. The record is 22 by New Zealand against West Indies at Queenstown in 2014.
272 runs came in boundaries in South Africa innings – the most in an ODI innings. The previous record was 256, shared by Sri Lanka and Australia.
India went on to lose the match by a whopping 214 runs. This is India’s biggest defeat on home soil and second biggest in all ODIs. This was also the third biggest defeat suffered by a Test playing team at home.
It was AB de Villiers’ brilliance that made all the difference in the end. How often do you see one batsman dominating the proceedings as much as De Villiers did in this series? Most runs (358), most 100s (3), most sixes (20), highest average (89.50) and highest strike-rate (134.59) – AB topped all these lists.
De Villiers’ three hundreds in the series are the joint-most by a batsman in a series against India, along with West Indies’ Chris Gayle.
And De Villiers has done so while leading the side. No other captain has scored more than a hundred in a series against India. In fact, De Villiers provided the first instance of a captain scoring three hundreds in a bilateral series in ODI history.
The 11 sixes hit by De Villiers at Wankhede are the most by any batsman in a one-day international against India. West Indies’ Kieron Pollard (Chennai, 2011) and Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews (Ranchi, 2014) had hit 10 sixes.
The 20 sixes hit by AB de Villiers in the series are the most by any batsman in a series against India. Australia’s Glenn Maxwell had hit 16 sixes in 2013-14.
De Villiers raced to his hundred off just 57 balls at Wankhede, which is the fastest for South Africa against India. AB de Villiers bettered his own record. He had taken 58 balls to score his hundred at Ahmedabad in 2010. Only Shahid Afridi has scored a faster ODI hundred against India than De Villiers – off 45 balls- at Kanpur in 2005 (Australia’s James Faulkner also took 57 balls to score his hundred at Bangalore in 2013).
De Villiers has now scored 23 ODI centuries – most by a South African batsman. He surpassed Herschelle Gibbs and Hashim Amla’s tally of 21 hundreds during the series. Only four batsmen – Tendulkar, Ponting, Jayasuriya and Sangakkara- have scored more hundreds than de Villiers (Kohli also has same number of hundreds against his name).
Amazingly all 23 of de Villiers’ hundreds have come at a strike-rate of 100 or more. Among all batsmen with 10 or more ODI hundreds against their name, only one other batsman has scored all his hundreds at run a ball. Pakistan’s IjazAhmed is distant second with 10 hundreds at a strike-rate of 100 or more.
AB has now scored 8 hundreds off 75 or fewer balls – most by any batsman. India’s Virender Sehwag has six such hundreds.
Some other records made by AB de Villiers in the series:
AB has now scored seven ODI tons on Indian soil- most by any overseas batsman (Chris Gayle has six)
AB has now scored six tons against India – most by any batsman in India-South Africa ODIs (Tendulkar has five)
AB’s five tons are the most by any batsman against India in India. Ricky Ponting, Marlon Samuels, Salman Butt and Chris Gayle have scored three apiece.
Four of AB’s five tons against India have come as captain, which are the most by any captain against India, along with Ricky Ponting. Interestingly Ponting took 35 innings to do so, while AB did so in just 10 innings.
AB has now scored five tons as captain in 2015 – most by any captain in a calendar year (equalling the record held by Ganguly (2000), Ponting (twice in 2003 and 2007) and Graeme Smith (2005)
Among all players with 500 ODI runs, AB is the only one with an average of more than 50 and a strike of more than 100.
As opposition batsmen went berserk at Wankhede, Indian bowling had to suffer. All of India's main bowlers had an economy rate over seven, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar completing an ignominious century. Bhuvneshwar’s figures of 10-0-106-1 are in fact the most expensive for an India bowler in a one-dayer.
South Africa scored 144 runs off last 10 overs, which are the most India have ever conceded in last 10 overs (41-50) of an innings. The previous record was 135, also against South Africa at Johannesburg in 2013.
Virat Kohli had a quiet series by his standards, but he accomplished a rare feat. Before the start of the series, Kohli had scored a ODI hundred against all Test playing teams except South Africa. With a match-winning hundred at Chennai, Kohli completed the set. Only four other players have achieved this distinction of scoring an ODI hundred against every Test playing side.
Surprisingly, it’s not Sachin Tendulkar, who completed this feat first. Tendulkar, in fact, completed the set in his penultimate match with his first hundred against Bangladesh. Ricky Ponting was the first batsman to accomplish this feat, followed by Hershelle Gibbs, Tendulkar, Hashim Amla and now Kohli. Amla took the fewest innings, while Tendulkar took the most.
For the first time in his career, Amla did not score a fifty in a series of four or more matches. Amla, however, became the quickest to 6000 run-mark in ODIs during the Mumbai ODI. Amla wrested the record from Virat Kohli who took 136 innings to reach this mark. With this, Amla now holds the record of being the quickest to 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 run-marks in ODIs.
Quinton de Kock seems to have a special liking for India. In just nine ODIs against them, de Kock has scored 667 runs at an average of 74.11 with 5 hundreds. Every time he has crossed 50 against India, he has converted it in to a hundred! Against other opponents he has moderate returns.
With eight hundreds, de Kock has now equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s record of scoring most ODI hundreds before turning 23. Sachin has played more than double of innings De Kock has played.
Other important records / milestones achieved during the series:
- In the first ODI at Kanpur, Ravichandran Ashwin became the 33rd Indian to appear in 100 or more ODIs.
- During the first ODI, Hashim Amla became the fifth batsman to score 1000 runs in this calendar year, joining Kane Williamson (1317), Martin Guptill (1287), Ross Taylor (1014) and Tillekaratne Dilshan (1003).
- In the first one-dayer at Kanpur, AB de Villiers became the fourth South African to aggregate 1000 runs against India in ODIs after Jacques Kallis (1535), Gary Kirsten (1377) and Herschelle Gibbs (1064). By the end of the series de Villiers has taken his runs- tally against India to 1279.
- At Kanpur Rohit Sharma became the first player to score 150 against South Africa in a chase. The previous highest was an unbeaten 145 by Brendan Taylor at Bloemfontein in 2010. Rohit also provided only the second instance of an Indian scoring 150 or more in a losing cause, after Sachin Tendulkar’s 175 against Australia at Hyderabad in 2009.
In the second ODI at Indore, MS Dhoni played an important part in India’s win by scoring an unbeaten 92 and then effecting four dismissals. This was only the eighth instance of a wicket-keeper scoring a ninety and making four dismissals in same match. Dhoni and Sangakkara are the only ones to have done so twice.
In the third ODI at Rajkot, MS Dhoni became the second most prolific run-scoring captain, surpassing New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming’s tally of 6295 runs. Now only Ricky Ponting with 8497 runs is ahead of Dhoni in ODIs as captain.
In the fourth ODI at Chennai, AB de Villiers became the sixth player and second South African after Hashim Amla to aggregate 1000 runs in 2015.
In the fifth ODI at Mumbai, Suresh Raina became the fifth Indian to take 100 catches in the field when he caught Farhaan Behardien. Raina joined Mohammad Azharuddin (156), Sachin Tendulkar (140), Rahul Dravid (124) and Sourav Ganguly (100).