India annihilate South Africa in 3rd ODI, win series: Takeaways
India torched South Africa with a seven-wicket win in the third ODI in Delhi on Tuesday. Put to bat, SA folded on 99, their lowest score against the Men in Blue in 50-over cricket. For India, Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (4/18) wiped the Proteas' tail. Later, Shubman Gill (49) piloted India to a sensational 2-1 series win. Here are the takeaways from the series.
Kuldeep spins the game in India's favor
Kuldeep reaped wonders from the turn and bounce on offer. He bagged his fifth four-fer in the decider to wind up with six wickets in the series at 17.67. It is worth noting that Kuldeep has posted sublime numbers in 50-over cricket since his international return. He picked three wickets in Zimbabwe, followed by a hat-trick in India A series against New Zealand A.
Siraj's sensational run in 2022 continues
2022 is turning out to be a defining year for Mohammed Siraj in ODIs. The concluded one-dayers against SA were no different for the right-armer, who bagged five scalps at 20.80. He bowled a variety of deliveries to mount miseries onto the Proteas, eventually tallying 18 wickets in 2022, averaging 24.00. He is India's third-highest wicket-taker behind Yuzvendra Chahal (21) and Prasidh Krishna (19).
Siraj has aced the Powerplay
Siraj has been a complete assassin with the new ball in ODIs played this year. As per ESPNcricinfo, he has snapped up 12 wickets in the Powerplay, averaging a phenomenal 15.66. Notably, he is the highest wicket-taker in PP, ranking above the Kiwi duo of Trent Boult (10) and Matt Henry (9), as well as Afghanistan's Fazalhaq Farooqi (8).
Klaasen emerges as the lone warrior
While there were flashes of brilliance from Aiden Markram, David Miller, and Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen was visibly the out-and-out performer in the ODIs. He belted 74* in a rail-curtailed affair in Lucknow, helping SA eke out a nine-run win. He followed with a crisp 30 in Ranchi and lastly top-scoring with a 42-ball 34 in a must-win duel.
SA's dominance wanes as series progresses
SA started the series on a commanding note. A poor show with the ball cost them a win in Ranchi, despite hoarding close to 280. However, they looked in tatters all throughout the decider. As per Cricbuzz, SA registered their third-lowest total in ODIs (69 vs Australia, 1993; 83 vs England, 2008; 83 vs England in 2022, and 99 vs India, 2022).
Iyer continues to blossom in 50-over cricket
Shreyas Iyer is turning out to be India's Mr. Dependable in One-Day Internationals. He's a highly mature batter who plays each ball as per merit. His ability to rotate strikes deserves praise. Not to mention, he is a prolific boundary-hitter, who can up the tempo in a few deliveries. His last seven scores in ODIs read 80, 54, 63, 44, 50, 113*, and 28*.
Dhawan's SR has taken a beating in 2022
India's stand-in skipper Shikhar Dhawan had meek returns in SA ODIs, with the scores reading 4(16), 13(20), and 8(14). Though he holds a whopping 567 runs while averaging 40.50 this year, one can't turn a blind eye to his approach. As per ESPNcricinfo, he has struck at a dismal rate of 69.50 in Powerplays and overall has a strike rate of 74.60.