Going by the level of India’s performance in the first three ODIs and the one-sided nature of this series thus far, it was expected that Virat Kohli’s men would deliver yet another clinical performance and seal the series 4-0 in the 4th ODI at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. But despite of an excellent century by Shikhar Dhawan, things did not go as expected, as hosts South Africa finally displayed some spark and beat the Indians by 5 wickets to keep the ODI series alive.
“Lucky” David Miller & rain defeated India in 4th ODI
Reflecting on India’s loss, centurion opener Shikhar Dhawan felt that “lucky” David Miller and rain spoilt their chance of defending the revised target. South Africa were 106/4 in the 18th over with the game in perfect balance when Shreyas Iyer dropped Miller at deep square leg of Chahal’s bowling. The left-hander was also subsequently bowled off a no-ball in the same over.
Explaining the weather’s hand in India’s loss, Dhawan also felt that spinners Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were troubled by the wet field conditions at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. As reported by mid-day, Dhawan said,
“The momentum changed after the dropped catch and then a wicket off no-ball. He (Miller) had luck on his side and grabbed the chances with both hands. Otherwise we were in very good position,” Shikhar Dhawan said at the post match press conference.
“Of course rain had an impact too. Our spinners couldn’t turn the ball or grip the ball the way they did in the last three matches. It makes a difference when the ball gets wet. That’s the reason,” the further added.
Having won the toss and opting to bat first, India posted a challenging total of 289 runs on the board, with opener Shikhar Dhawan scoring a fluent century in the process. It was again down to South African batsmen versus Indian spinners when the chase began in the 4th ODI. Only 7 overs had been bowled when rain and lightning intervened and South Africa’s chase had to be revised to a 202-run target from 28 overs, something very much achievable in the modern cricket game.
The Proteas rode their luck at times and made full use of the revised target, strolling their way to the total in the end and registering their first win of the series, in the 4th ODI. Middle-order batsman David Miller was instrumental in his team’s win as he nullified the threat of Indian spinners, only after being bowled off a no-ball by Chahal though.