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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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