Virat Kohli and his men scripted history on Tuesday when they blanked South Africa by 73 runs to clinch the six-match series 4-1 with one match to go. This Indian team achieved a historical landmark which the previous teams failed to do so in their outings to the beautiful Rainbow nation. Since their first tour to South Africa back in 1992, none of the Indian men's side has ever won a series across any format on the South African soil. Courtesy this win, the men in blue have also climbed up to the number one spot in the ICC ODI Team Rankings.
The win becomes more special as the team under Kohli achieved which none of the previous sides led by the greats like Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid or Mahendra Singh Dhoni have managed to achieve this feat. (SCORECARD)
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India's win was set up by a match-winning knock from opener Rohit Sharma (115), who made his first significant score of the tour. Later, the wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav (4/57) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/43) went about their business in style and found their bearings after a rare off-day in the last match in Johannesburg.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, India skipper Virat Kohli hailed his team's performance on the landmark win and emphasized on finishing the series with an even better margin in Centurion. He said: "Very pleased. Another convincing win for us and I thought the guys really got stuck in, with the bat, with the ball and on the field as well. It was a complete performance from us which was important to put together after the last game."
"...for now 4-1 seems great and we'll look to wrap it up well. We want to win 5-1 for sure, that doesn't change, but there'll be a chance for others to step in as well. The first priority is to win and we'll do anything to do that again," the Delhi-born batsman added.
Kohli also spoke about the pressure on the hosts leading into the series an feels the momentum was with the visitors since the win in Johannesburg Test. The captain said, "Only one team had the pressure of losing the series right from the start and that was South Africa. We knew that a few mistakes and we'd be right back in the game. Right from the third Test in Jo'burg, it has been a great time for us. We've been playing some really good cricket and it has been a collective effort from the team-mates, the support staff and everybody; feels wonderful to be 4-1 up."
With a mission to do well in the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England, the 29-year old added: "Every team has a vision of the 2019 World Cup and that's what we need to plan for. We are working in that direction and are trying various combinations before the big event."
"When three guys at the top are playing well and scoring consistently, every now and then you get an opportunity where you might not click, and when this series is wrapped up we'll look to think about what we can do to improve and strengthen as we move forward," the skipper signed off.
The sixth and final ODI will be played on February 16 at SuperSport Park in Centurion.