Arshdeep, Avesh on fire as India crush Proteas in 1st ODISun, 17 Dec 2023 13:23:17 GMT

Pace bowlers Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan set up a convincing eight-wicket win for India in the first one-day international against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.Left-armer Arshdeep took five for 37 and Avesh claimed four for 27 as South Africa crashed to 116 all out.New cap Sai Sudharsan and Shreyas Iyer hit half-centuries as India needed just 16.4 overs to reach the target. Indian captain KL Rahul said he had expected India’s spinners to play a prominent role on the same pitch on which spin had prevailed in a Twenty20 international on Thursday.”It was completely different to what we expected,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation. “There was a lot of help in the wicket and the boys bowled really well.” Kuldeep Yadav was the only spinner used, taking the last wicket at a cost of three runs in 2.3 overs.South African captain Aiden Markram said there had been more help for the seam bowlers than he anticipated when he won the toss and decided to bat. “Credit to the Indian bowlers,” he said. “There was a bit of lateral movement and we weren’t able to settle and build partnerships.” – Threadbare Proteas -India’s dominant performance was testimony to their strength in depth in a match in which both teams were without key players – including their front-line fast bowling attacks – ahead of a Test series starting on December 26.Arshdeep, who had not taken a wicket in three previous ODIs, and Avesh, with three wickets in five appearances, stepped up to the challenge in emphatic fashion.By contrast, South Africa’s bowling looked threadbare as they tried to defend the second-lowest total made in ODIs at the Wanderers.Arshdeep struck twice off successive balls in the second over, dismissing Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen for nought.With the pitch offering help to the seam bowlers, Arshdeep took the first four wickets in a seven-over opening spell and Avesh followed up by taking the next four, also in a seven-over spell.The left-handed Sudharsan hit his first ball in international cricket for four, striking fellow one-day debutant Nandre Burger through the covers.Sudharsan could have been out in the same over but South Africa failed to review a not-out decision for leg before wicket. There were two sounds but replays showed his bat hit his boot and not the ball.Sudharsan went on to make an elegant unbeaten 55 off 43 balls with nine fours. India included only three players from the side that played in the World Cup final against Australia last month, while South Africa fielded six from the side that lost to the Australians in the semi-final.“With the amount of international cricket being played you have to rest some players,” said Rahul.“Chopping and changing is a must in the modern game. We believe in whoever’s here to win the game and do their best for the team.”The second encounter in the three-match series takes place in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) on Tuesday with the third in Paarl two days later. The first Test begins at Centurion on December 26.