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Men in Blue keen to bounce back in Port Elizabeth

14 February 2018

In the end, what was setting up to be a big Rohit hundred turned out to be a gritty innings that seemed just about enough for India. "You guys put people in good form after one match, and if somebody doesn't have three good matches, you say he is in bad form", Rohit said.

South Africa required one of their misfiring top-order to match India's vaunted top three, and Hashim Amla appeared to be on his way after Ajinkya Rahane offered him a lifeline on 38.

Kohli (393 runs) and Shikhar Dhawan (271 runs) have scored almost thrice the number of runs put together by the remaining batsmen (239) while other Indian batsman are struggling which is a cause of worry for the team management. They also climbed up to the number one spot in the MFR ICC ODI Team Rankings. At St. George's Park, it was Rohit's turn.

"We wanted to bowl first as well". With the ball nipping around under overcast skies, there was a rationale behind a circumspect beginning.

"They've bowled well, they took wickets and the more we play them the better we'll get". He usually begins slow, steadies through the middle before unleashing himself on the bowling.

Because there was no time for both batsmen to be slow off the blocks, Dhawan led a thrilling takedown of the South African quicks. He was joined in the middle by Virat Kohli (36 off 54 balls, 2 fours), who played an uncharacteristic innings belying his rich form. From then, it was only Amla who stood between India and victory.

However, Rohit continued his flow of runs and brought up his century in the 36th over after he got a lucky escape batting on 96 being dropped by Tabraiz Shamsi.

India rode on Rohit's 126-ball 115, laced with 11 boundaries and four sixes to post 274/7 even after the lower order failed to capitalise on the brilliant start. Kuldeep Yadav made no mistake in removing the Proteas batsman. Rohit realised early that it was not a 300 track. Despite getting an earlier wicket of Shikhar Dhawan, a 105-run partnership between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma took the visitors back on track. Including this one, there are two more matches still left to end the on-going series.

"It augurs well for the team".

"We always, in our dressing room, we are always talking how we are batting and how we are playing the ball". That is what we are trying to do. But he got out on 34 from 23 balls as Rabada dismissed him. "So our three's responsibility is that if we are set then we have to try and play long", Rohit said. It might not be as easy to bat on, so we need to be smart about [setting a total].

The highest total successfully chased was by Australia in 2002, when they scored 330/7 to beat South Africa by 3 wickets. India won't be too anxious with this loss as they know that it was the weather more than the no-ball that got them into that position. We knew that a few mistakes and we'd be right back in the game.

Men in Blue keen to bounce back in Port Elizabeth