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HomeCricketIndia's tour of South Africa - success?

India’s tour of South Africa – success?



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

India’s much anticipated tour of South Africa has come to an end, and I will have a look at whether India and their fans should consider this tour a successful one.

On first glance, especially so soon after more success in the limited overs leg of the tour, it seems India had a really great tour. However, I feel India’s biggest test came in the Test matches, and unfortunately didn’t prepare well enough, and ultimately lost a series they could have easily won. We all know India are an excellent limited overs side, but they needed to prove to the doubters that they can compete away from home.

Did they do enough? Let’s have a deeper look…

Tests – South Africa won 2-1

2018 began with a very high profile Test series between World no. 1 and 2. India have had plenty of success over the last two years, but have had plenty of doubters around the world saying that they haven’t been good enough in Australia, South Africa, England and New Zealand to warrant their number one Test ranking.
Even before the series, India made a major mistake in deciding against any tour matches, opting to acclimatise to conditions in the Test series. The impact of this was evident, with India starting off with a big loss, with their batsmen struggling, albeit in tough conditions in Cape Town. As the series progressed, despite some very weird selection decisions (i.e. Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar), India got better and better, and finished off with an absolutely brilliant win in very extreme conditions in Johannesburg. Their batsmen proved that they could handle tough, foreign conditions, but India would be kicking themselves that they didn’t start the series like this.
All in all, India did enough to keep their number one ranking, and have given themselves, as well as their fans, plenty of hope that they can do well in England and Australia later this year. Virat Kohli was simply brilliant, topping the run scoring charts, with 286 runs, and the next best India was Hardik Pandya in 8th with 119 runs. India’s batting improved as the tour went on, and their bowlers showed how threatening they could be away from home.
Top players in the Tests for India: Virat Kohli (9/10), Mohammed Shami (8/10), Jasprit Bumrah (7/10), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (7/10)
India improved in the Tests, but it wasn’t enough to win the series

ODIs – India won 5-1

Wow. What a demolition job by India. 
Again, like the Tests, it was World no.1 v no.2, this time with South Africa the team considered the 
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best in the world. India took advantage of AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis missing for a good portion of the series, and taught the South Africans a huge lesson. I mentioned during the series that it was like no.1 vs no.8 in the world.
The rise of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal is a massive bonus for India, which can give them a big X factor for the World Cup in 2019. Between them, they took a massive 33 wickets at just 15.09, at an economy rate of under five. In addition, India’s top order, especially Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, were absolutely superb, setting the innings up often for a middle order surge. Virat Kohli scored 558 runs, and became the first ever player to score 500 runs in a bilateral ODI series. This was done at an average of 186. What a player.

India are certainly a chance for the 2019 World Cup, especially if they can sort out a few questions in the middle order.

Top players in the ODIs for India: Virat Kohli (10/10), Kuldeep Yadav (9/10), Yuzvendra Chahal (8.5/10), Shikhar Dhawan (8.5/10)
India’s magnificent trio in the ODI series

T20Is – India won 2-1

Team India’s success continued into the T20I series, winning the deciding game in Cape Town to take the series 2-1.
The return of Suresh Raina proved to be a successful one, and has started conversations about a possible return in the middle order of the ODI side. Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni were some of India’s best with the bat in this series (all with strike rates of over 150), Bhuvneshwar Kumar was superb with the ball (how good is he)!
A question to come out of the series though is Jaydev Unadkat – an economy rate of nearly 10 raises further doubts in my mind as to whether he is overpriced in the IPL. Is he worth the money? It remains to be seen.

Top players in the T20Is for India: Bhuvneshwar Kumar (9/10), Shikhar Dhawan (8/10), Manish Pandey (8/10), MS Dhoni (8/10), Suresh Raina (7.5/10)

My view

In the end, India won eight of their last 10 matches in the tour, after the 2nd Test defeat in Centurion.
The biggest prize, in my opinion, would have been a Test series win, but the third Test win in tough conditions, plus the awesome limited overs performance, makes this a successful tour for India. The reason I say this is that a successful tour is not just about the scorelines, but what platform a team sets up for themselves in the future. From this series, I believe India have gained confidence to go to England and Australia and do well.
Overall score for India in the tour: 7/10
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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