NEW DELHI: Former India allrounder Mohinder Amarnath believes that the current Indian cricket team, under the leadership of a red-hot Virat Kohli, has the potential to succeed across the globe. Kohli’s No 1 ranked India are one win away from achieving the first ODI Series win on South African soil by an Indian team, having beaten South Africa in three consecutive matches, which led Amarnath to mull whether the hosts are headed towards a decline like West Indies.
“India are champions in one-day cricket and have been playing like the No. 1 team they are. Once again, it is amazing to see the way Virat Kohli is playing. It’s very rare that you get a performance so consistent coming from a captain. He has been unbelievable over the last few years by setting an example for the team and winning games on his own. He’s like the superman of the team, so we can’t go wrong anywhere we play,” wrote Amarnath, who was part of India’s World Cup-winning team of 1983, in his column for TOI on Friday.
“It has been a fantastic all-round performance by India. They have carried the confidence of their win in the final match of the Test series into the one-dayers. And when your captain leads from the front, things really change. We have seen teams struggling in the Test series, but have come back very well in the one-day series. England are another example of this: they struggled right through the Ashes but came back to win the ODI series comfortably.”
The wrist-spinning pair of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have tormented South Africa’s batsmen and accounted for 21 of the 28 wickets that India have taken across three ODIs. Amarnath lauded the pair as well as pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah.
“Bumrah, for me, is one of the key players in the side now. He has done well in Tests and has always been a fantastic performer in the shorter versions of the game. He’s one of those pacers who is very hard to pick and handle initially,” wrote Amarnath, who scored 4378 Test runs with 11 centuries. “Overall, the bowling has been fantastic, and it’s very obvious that South Africa are poor players of quality spin that Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have dished out. The combination of both spin and pace is putting a lot of pressure on them, and India have been able to control the ODI series things from the word go.”
The current South African team, ranked second in ODIs, has been hit hard by injuries to their captain Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock. In the first game, du Plessis carried the home team with a fine 120 before he was ruled out of the series with a fractured finger. The wicketkeeper-batsman de Kock followed after suffering a left wrist injury during the second ODI, while de Villiers only returned to the lineup for the fourth ODI having recovered from a finger injury. And with Hashim Amla enduring a poor series – not once has he made it out of the Powerplay – the home team has been left with very little batting power.
This left Amarnath worried about the future of South Africa as a potent ODI force. “South Africa have a lot of worries. With their main stars like de Villiers and Amla not getting any younger, and no replacement for them in sight, they are going to struggle in the future. It won’t be a surprise if they go the West Indies way in the long run. The selection system is also a little to blame as you can lose out on talent if you compromise. The hosts will have to do something extraordinary to come back in this series but the way India are playing, I see them winning this series comfortably,” wrote the 67-year-old. Source : timesofindia