Looking back at the five-match ODI cricket rubber, rising South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada termed his one-on-one battle with Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the of opening contest in Kanpur as his best display of the series.
South Africa clinched the series 3-2 after humbling India by 214 runs in Mumbai on Sunday, but it all started at Green Park, where the visitors sneaked past Dhoni’s side by five runs. Sharing the new ball with pace spearhead Dale Steyn, Rabada bagged two wickets and got the dangerous Dhoni caught and bowled for 31 in the final over to deny India victory in Kanpur.
“The one that I really enjoyed was the first game (at Kanpur on October 11). It was pressure situation against MSD. I had not bowled to him (before), but I knew what he was capable of doing and the amazing things he had done in the past. That gave me quite a bit of confidence, pulling that one (victory) out in that type of situation,” said Rabada after the conclusion of the fifth and final ODI at the Wankhede Stadium.
Rabada was brought on to bowl against World Cup winning captain Dhoni in the last over of the game when India were within smelling distance of overhauling South Africa’s 303 and sent him back with a return catch before dismissing Stuart Binny off the next ball to halt the hosts’ charge at 298.
The victory allowed the visitors an early lead and made India do catch-up over the first four games.
The 20-year-old fast bowler, seen by many as the future of SA’s fast bowling lot in future grabbed a superb 4 for 41 on Sunday, said team effort helped his country notch up its first-ever victory in a bilateral series in India.
“It was great team effort in all the games. It was tough coming to play in India. We had not won a series here and made history today. India bounced back in Chennai. We knew today was a game of great magnitude. We came out with great intent,” he said.
“It was a great series and it was great playing against experienced and magnificent players. It was a titanic battle.”