And yet South Africa opted to give India first strike, an invitation they took up with enthusiasm - none more so than Virat Kohli, who was an imperious presence at the crease throughout his unbeaten 160, his second century of the rubber and the driving force behind his team scoring 303/6. Shikhar Dhawan was asked to do that at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
AB de Villiers was the first one to be ruled out of the first three ODIs, who was followed by South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis to be sidelined after injuring his finger in the first ODI. However, if the hosts wanted some inspiration to make a comeback in the series, then their record at Newlands will cheer them up as they played 33 ODI games and managed to win 28 matches at the venue and their win percentage is nearly 85.
Deepti Sharma also claimed two wickets as pacer Jhulan Goswami became the first female cricketer to take 200 ODI wickets. Perhaps, it was the knowledge that India fancy themselves to chase just about anything and the ghosts of their previous two batting performances still swirling.
At the end of 50 overs India posted a target of 304 runs for South Africa losing 6 wickets. "We bowl slow because the ground is very small and they have big hitters".
"They're world-class spinners", admitted South African captain Aiden Markram.
India vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Cape Town, latest update: A debutant and Radada at the centre.
Cricket South Africa announced Monday that De Kock was in "severe pain and discomfort" after being struck on the left wrist while batting in the second match in Centurion on Sunday. It's nearly as if the young duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal has left South African batsman struggling for answers. In one-day games you have to score runs.
South Africa established something of a squeeze between the 20th and 40th over, in which they conceded 105 runs but Kohli was there throughout, accumulating steadily.
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