Indian captain Virat Kohli said after a crushing win in the second one-day international at SuperSport Park on Sunday that he wanted his match-winning wrist spinners to continue to put pressure on South Africa’s batsmen.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav set up a nine-wicket win which gave India a 2-0 lead in the six-match series.
Leg-spinner Chahal picked up a career-best five for 22 and left-armer Yadav took three for 20 as South Africa were bowled out for 118, the lowest total in one-day internationals at the ground.
“We know that their middle order is inexperienced and we want to cash in on that in the future games and put some real pressure on them,” said Kohli.
“The way our spinners are bowling I am pretty confident we can continue (with) the same momentum.”
Both Indian spinners extracted a surprising amount of turn on a dry pitch which man of the match Chahal admitted was helpful. “We also play in these conditions in India,” he said.
Kohli said it had been a complete bowling performance, with new ball bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah setting the tone.
“They didn’t let South Africa get away with scoring too many runs,” he said.
South Africa made a reasonable start, with Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock putting on 39 for the first wicket before Amla was caught behind off Kumar. De Kock fell to Chahal, one of three batsmen to fall with the total on 51 as the spinners took control.
“We knew if we got those two at the top, their middle order is inexperienced and a bit shaky,” said Kohli.
“The spinners were outstanding. They were getting bounce and pace off the wicket, which worked in our favour.”
With star players Faf Du Plessis and AB De Villiers both missing because of injury, it was a chastening introduction to the South African captaincy for Aiden Markram.
The 23-year-old was appointed for the rest of the series after Du Plessis broke his right index finger in the first match in Durban on Thursday.
“We are going to have to be really honest with ourselves,” said Markram. “Every person will have to see how we can get better.”
India came within two runs of winning before lunch when the umpires stuck to the letter of the regulations and insisted on a break after allowing an extra four overs or 15 minutes to achieve a result. India had been 93 for one at the scheduled interval.
Most of a capacity crowd left the ground before Kohli scored the winning runs.
After South Africa’s mini collapse with the total on 51, JP Duminy and new cap Khaya Zondo both scored 25 and shared a fifth wicket partnership of 48 before the last six wickets tumbled for 19 runs.
India started aggressively, with Rohit Sharma pulling Morne Morkel for six in the first over of their innings.
Sharma fell for 15, caught by Morkel at fine leg off Kagiso Rabada, but Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli put on an unbeaten 91 for the second wicket to secure an easy win. Dhawan finished with 51 not out and Kohli made 46 not out.