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No respite as South Africa bowlers continue to struggle vs India

14 February 2018

The century that sealed India's bilateral series win in South Africa had all the hallmarks of a Rohit innings.

In the current series, South Africa have needed the services of JP Duminy to provide some kind of variety, and he has done a reasonably good job as lead spinner Imran Tahir struggled to get going. The memes about a Rohit double-hundred on the way had already made the rounds when Kohli was run out, but a double-wicket maiden by Ngidi in the 43rd over put the brakes on India, with Rohit edging an attempted cut behind and Pandya out first ball, also caught behind off the bottom of the bat.

For South Africa, Lungisani Ngidi was the pick of the bowlers returning figures of 4/51 while Kagiso Rabada picked up a wicket.

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The hosts, meanwhile, are boosting with confidence following the victory in Johannesburg and that they will now look to build on the positives as they have an opportunity to end the six-match series on an even note.

Rohit, who was involved in two run outs, that of skipper Virat Kohli and middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane, said two batsmen before him were run out so the pressure had mounted on him to deliver and he just wanted to focus on how to carry the same momentum till the end. That decisively swung the match in India's favour.

One can't ignore Hardik Pandya's contribution as his all-round skill sets came into good effect. But one can not take away the pressure that Chahal keeps building from the other end. On the private score of the most important batsman of the host team Abraham De Villiers 6, Pandya's ball was caught behind Dhoni's hand in the back of the wicket.

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Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have got India off to a good start.

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Kohli supported him, hitting his 75 off 83 balls to continue a run of red-hot form this series, which India had completely dominated until Saturday. Under these circumstances, Rohit managed 1 run off 15 balls to begin the innings.

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The Virat Kohli-led side started the series on front foot, winning the first three matches with comprehensive wins in Durban, Centurion and Cape Town. "I am sure he will chill out a little more as he gets a little bit older". Defending the total, the visitors' spin-bowling hero Kuldeep Yadav took 4/57, which included three wickets in one over, to rock the home team's chase that ended at 201 all out.

No respite as South Africa bowlers continue to struggle vs India