South Africa beat India by 4 wickets in the second of five T20I matches at Barabati Stadium on Sunday. With the win, South Africa took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. What is perplexing is that these defeats are not punctual. India and South Africa have faced each other eight times in 2022 and South Africa have won all eight games.
India are the number one ranked team in the T20Is, ranked second in the Tests and fourth in the ODIs. By comparison, South Africa ranks fourth in the T20I world rankings, fourth in red ball cricket and sixth in the 50+ format.
Gulf or no Gulf in the rankings, South Africa seems to have India figured out in 2022. South Africa’s winning streak against India includes wins in all three formats and in both genres of cricket.
In women’s cricket and in terms of rankings, the difference is not stark. South Africa is ranked second while India is fourth in the ODIs. In the T20Is ranking, India is fourth and South Africa is one place below India at five.
Regardless of what India has been trying against South Africa all year, they have failed. Here’s how South Africa topped India in 2022.
India lose 1-2 in three-game Test series
Unlike the current form, India ended 2021 with a win over South Africa in the Boxing Day Test at Centurion. KL Rahul’s century in the opening innings and Mohammed Shami’s eight wickets in the match had propelled India to a landslide victory by 113 runs. The match was India’s last international match for 2021.
The change of year reversed the fortunes of India. South Africa bounced back strongly from the loss at Centurion to win the next two Tests. South Africa captain Dean Elgar’s unbeaten 96 was good enough as the team chased 240. It was India’s first defeat in Johannesburg. In Cape Town in the third test, South Africa produced another successful chase as this time they surpassed the target of 212 thanks to Keegan Petersen’s chic 82. This victory meant that South Africa had secured a winning streak from behind. It was two defeats for India at the start of 2022.
South Africa sweep ODI series against India
The test series was followed by three one-day internationals. Rohit Sharma was supposed to lead the team but he was declared unfit so the responsibility lies with KL Rahul. What followed was a complete disaster as India were crushed 0-3 in the series.
Under their white ball skipper Temba Bavuma, South Africa won the opening two matches by 31 runs and 7 wickets in Paarl, followed by a narrow 4 run win in the third ODI in Cape Town.
So, by the end of the series, India had lost 5 games to South Africa across Tests and ODIs.
South Africa ends India’s ODI World Cup campaign
India’s women’s team started their ODI World Cup campaign in style by knocking out their Pakistani rivals in their opening game. But the team lost three of the next five games against New Zealand, England and Australia. This meant that the side managed by Mithali Raj needed to win their last group game against South Africa to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
The game against South Africa turned out to be a thriller and a crushing blow for Indian hopefuls. Beating first, India posted a good 274/7 thanks to fifty-year-old Raj and openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafalia Verma.
South Africa’s chase continued through to the final as the team needed 7 points from the last 6 balls of the match which was a thrill but didn’t go the way from India.
The match turned out to be Raj’s last international outing as she announced her retirement from all forms of cricket in June.
Lose the first two games of the current five-game T20I series
Now back to the present. Bavuma and his troupe are touring India for the five-match T20I series. Rohit, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested after a grueling IPL season and KL Rahul is injured leaving captaincy with Rishabh Pant.
However, that shouldn’t be an excuse as India now boast that they are ready with two simultaneous squads and tipsters Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik have made a comeback. Strong IPL performances also saw new faces like Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik come into the Indian camp.
Neither a new captain nor the in-form IPL guys have managed to turn India’s fortunes in 2022 v South Africa so far
(Edited by : Abhishek Jha)