Ajinkya Rahane's critical knock has solved India's number four problem

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Rahane's display at number four was heartening for India.

India started off the six-match ODI series against South Africa with a bang after notching up a comprehensive six-wicket victory in the first ODI at Durban on Thursday.

Virat Kohli’s men made short work of the 269-run target set by the Proteas as they won with more than four overs to spare at the end.

As the attention now shifts to the second ODI to be played at Centurion on Sunday, we look at things learned.

SOUTH AFRICA’S HOME RUN BROKEN

Before Thursday’s encounter with India, the South Africans had won their last 17 ODIs on the trot on home soil. This run included 5-0 whitewashes of Australia and Sri Lanka and a 3-0 thrashing of Bangladesh.

With the run now broken, India will fancy their chances of taking the series.

South Africa were beaten at home after a long wait.

South Africa were beaten at home after a long wait.

INDIA’S WRIST-SPIN TWINS ARE HERE TO STAY

Since India’s defeat in the ICC Champions Trophy final against Pakistan, the senior spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja has been discarded in favour of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in limited-overs cricket.

The young pair performed admirably as India continued their home domination in 2017. However, the maturity they showed against the Proteas on Thursday shows that they have all the tools to replicate their success in overseas conditions.

The pair picked up five wickets between them in their 20 overs conceding just 79 runs. They comfortably outperformed Imran Tahir who went wicketless and were the catalysts for India’s big win.

Kuldeep and Chahal outclassed their South African counterparts.

Kuldeep and Chahal outclassed their South African counterparts.

VIRAT KOHLI REMAINS THE KING OF CHASES

The Indian skipper once again showed there is simply no one better than him when it comes to the art of chasing as be brought up his 33rd ODI ton and his first on South African shores.

His incredible stats while chasing keep getting better, with Thursday’s ton being his 20th while batting second. He now has 18 hundreds in successful run chases at an insane average of 94 and a strike-rate of 97.

There is simply no one better than Kohli when it comes to chasing.

There is simply no one better than Kohli when it comes to chasing.

AJINKYA RAHANE SOLVES NUMBER FOUR ISSUE

For a long time, India have struggled to find a batsman for the number four position with the likes of Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer given a run. For Durban, Ajinkya Rahane was given the chance and he took it.

Rahane continued from where he left off in Johannesburg in the final Test with an extremely fluent half-century, his fifth in succession in ODI cricket.

Rahane notched up his fifth consecutive ODI fifty.

Rahane notched up his fifth consecutive ODI fifty.

PROTEAS MISS DE VILLIERS 

The hosts felt the absence of AB De Villiers in Durban. The swashbuckling batsman adds another dimension to their batting with his counter-attacking style.

His replacement, Aiden Markram, is still young and was unable to stamp his authority on Thursday.

The Proteas sorely missed De Villiers' counter-attacking punch.

The Proteas sorely missed De Villiers’ counter-attacking punch.

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