India lost all three matches in the just-concluded ODI series against South Africa. This was only the second time that the Proteas have won all the matches played in an ODI series against India.
After India's four-run defeat at Newlands, Cape Town on Sunday, head coach Rahul Dravid admitted that his team didn't play "smart cricket at crucial times". The former India captain also backed KL Rahul, who filled in for absent Rohit Sharma. But the scorelines, 1-2 in the Tests and 0-3 in the ODIs, were damning enough to prompt fans to call for a post-mortem.
India indeed started the tour as the favourites and won the opener, the first Test, by 113 runs in Centurion. But it was followed by near-identical seven-wicket defeats in the second and third Tests in Johannesburg and Cape Town as the visitors continued to navigate through the captaincy controversy involving former skippers Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly.
The script continued in the ODIs. And by the time the teams returned to Cape Town for the tour finale, India were already 0-2 down. They took the field for one last time in a disastrous tour and tried to salvage some pride. But despite their best effort, the visitors still ended up losing the match by four runs. Too little, too late, one would say. As the stand-in skipper, Rahul said after the match, India kept making the same mistakes.
Rubbing the proverbial salt in India's wounds, ICC penalised Rahul & Co for slow-over rate.
Here are stats from the series:
This was the second time in 13 bilateral ODI series (featuring more than one match) that South Africa have won all the matches against India.
South Africa's 3-0 victory was their fifth series win against India in six. India's only series win in South Africa came under the leadership of Virat Kohli when they registered a 5-1 win in a six-match series in 2017-18. Faf du Plessis led South Africa in the first match of the series while Aiden Markram captained the team in the last five matches.
In the 2006-07 series, South Africa won four out of four played in the series. The first match of the five-match series was washed out without a toss.
India first toured South Africa under the leadership of Mohammed Azharuddin in 1992-93, and lost the seven-match one-day international series 5-2.
INDIA’S SERIES RECORD IN SOUTH AFRICA
(Season - Winner - Result - Captains)
1992-93 - South Africa - 5-2 (7) - Mohammed Azharuddin/Kepler Wessels;
2006-07 - South Africa - 4-0 (4) - Rahul Dravid +/ Graeme Smith;
2010-11 - South Africa - 3-2 (5) - Mahendra Singh Dhoni/Graeme Smith;
2013-14 - South Africa - 2-0 (3) - Mahendra Singh Dhoni/Abraham de Villiers;
2017-18 - India - 5-1 (6) - Virat Kohli/Aiden Markram ++;
2021-22 - South Africa - 3-0(3) - Lokesh Rahul/Temba Bavuma.
+ Virender Sehwag led India in the last two matches of the 2006-07 series.
++ Faf du Plessis led South Africa in the first match of the 2017-18 series
With inputs from S. Pervez Qaiser