Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan rip through South Africa in first one-day international to steer India to eight-wicket win

Indian seamers Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan ripped through South Africa to bowl them out for 116 in the first one-day international (ODI) on Sunday, the host’s lowest total at home in the 50-over format. In response, India reached 117 in the 17th over.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first on the same wicket that was used in Thursday’s final Twenty20 clash, but the decision proved disastrous, and India exploited the seamer-friendly conditions superbly to set up a very modest chase for victory. 

South Africa’s previous lowest innings score on home soil was 118 against India in Pretoria in 2018. 

Singh picked up five wickets for 37 runs in his 10 overs and Khan took four for 27 in eight as they bowled a wicket-to-wicket line that had seven of the batters either bowled or dismissed leg before wicket. 

Singh came into the match without a wicket in his three previous ODIs but had two in two balls when he dismissed Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen, both for ducks. 

All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo offered some resistance for South Africa with 33 from 49 balls before he became Singh’s fifth and final victim. 

Khan then ripped through the middle and lower order for his career-best bowling figures in ODIs. 

The fixture is the first of three after the teams squared a three-match T20 series 1-1. 

Both teams are missing several of their regular players, who are either injured or rested for the two-match Test series that follows. 

Shreyas Iyer of India during the 1st one-day international match between South Africa and India at DP World Wanderers Stadium on 17 December 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Lee Warren / Gallo Images)


India were surprised at how helpful the Wanderers pitch was for their seamers. India captain KL Rahul said he thought it was his spinners who would win the day. 

The tourists won the final Twenty20 International on the same wicket on Thursday, and Rahul says he believed it would be a game for his spinners. 

Instead, seamers Arshdeep Singh (5-37) and Avesh Khan (4-27) recorded career-best figures. 

“It was completely different to what we expected,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation. “We had planned to bring the spinners into the game early after what we saw in the T20 match. 

“But there was a lot of help in the wicket and the boys did really well to put the ball into the right areas. 

“It is my first ODI win here [South Africa] as a captain. When I was here last time [January 2022], we lost all three, so it is good to get that victory under your belt.” 

Both sides have rested players ahead of a two-match Test series starting on 26 December. There were several new faces in the Indian team, including debutant opening batter Sai Sudharsan, who took his chance with an unbeaten 55 from 43 balls. 

“There is a lot of cricket being played these days. You have to prioritise formats and at the moment it is Test cricket and T20s a little bit,” Rahul said. 

“That is the modern-day game, but we believe whoever is here will perform for their country.” 

South Africa never got going in the game with bat or ball and have much to think about ahead of the second match in the three-game series in Gqeberha on Tuesday. 

“Credit to their bowling attack with the lateral movement,” said home captain Aiden Markram. “We weren’t able to settle and build partnerships. It was a problem right from the start and we couldn’t pull things back. 

“We expected it to go around [seam] a little bit. Generally, in the day games, it does do something for five to seven overs. But today it went on for longer and we couldn’t get in.” 

Heinrich Klaasen and Aiden Markram of South Africa during the 1st one-day international match between South Africa and India at DP World Wanderers Stadium on 17 December 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images)


India wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan has asked to be released from the upcoming two-match Test series in South Africa, citing unspecified personal reasons, officials confirmed on Sunday. 

Kishan will be replaced in the squad by KS Bharat, who is likely to be the backup to first-choice KL Rahul. 

The 25-year-old Kishan has played two Tests for India after making his debut against West Indies in July, and scored 210 in a one-day international against Bangladesh in December 2022. 

Seamer Mohammed Shami will not play in two Test matches against South Africa, while bowler Deepak Chahar has withdrawn from the one-day international series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the country’s cricket board, said on Saturday. 

Shami, whose last Test appearance came during India’s World Test Championship final loss to Australia in June, had been picked in the squad for the two Tests subject to him passing a fitness test. 

“Mr Mohammed Shami, whose participation in the Test series was subject to fitness, has not been cleared by the BCCI medical team and the fast bowler is ruled out of the two Tests,” the BCCI said in a statement. 

“Mr Deepak Chahar has informed the BCCI that he will not be available for the upcoming ODI series due to a family medical emergency. The men’s selection committee has named Mr Akash Deep as his replacement.” DM


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