Spin-twins too hot to handle and other talking points as India thump South Africa in second ODI

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India's spin-twins were flying once again on Sunday.

India raced to a 2-0 lead in the six-match series after a thumping nine-wicket victory over South Africa in the second ODI at Centurion.

Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan made short work of the 119-run target as India won with 29 overs to spare.

Here are the key talking points of the clash.

SOUTH AFRICA CRUMBLE TO LOWEST TOTAL AT HOME

Although they have registered six totals lower than 118 on tour, the score is the lowest the Proteas have posted in one day internationals at home.

Previously, the lowest ODI total South Africa had recorded at home was 119 which came at Port Elizabeth against England towards the end of 2009.

It is also their lowest score against India with their previous worst against the Men In Blue being 117 which came at Nairobi in Kenya during 1999.

It definitely wasn’t the best of starts to Aiden Markram’s captaincy, and on his home ground to boot. It was in fact the lowest total posted by any side at Centurion, one run worse than the 119 Zimbabwe managed in a defeat during 2009.

South Africa hit a new low at home.

South Africa hit a new low at home.

QUINTON DE KOCK IS HAVING A HORRID 2018

So far, 2018 has not been kind to South Africa’s dashing wicketkeeper-batsman who has yet to register a fifty across all formats. He had a miserable run during the three-match Test series where he scored a combined total of 71 in six innings.

At Centurion, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar exposed how horribly out of touch the 25-year-old currently is with the bat. He looked uncomfortable from the very first delivery he faced as he endured an uncomfortable time at the crease courtesy of India’s pacers.

He scratched his way to an unconvincing 20-run knock before being caught at deep mid-wicket while attempting to smash a rank long-hop from Yuzvendra Chahal. An in-form de Kock would have deposited that poor delivery a few rows into the stands.

de Kock was made to hop,, skip and jump by India's bowlers.

de Kock was made to hop,, skip and jump by India’s bowlers.

PROTEAS UNABLE TO HANDLE INDIA’S WRIST SPIN TWINS AGAIN

The difference between the two sides in the first ODI had been the performance of India’s wrist-spinners Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav who picked up five wickets between them.

They caused even more destruction on Sunday as they completely decimated South Africa’s batting order, picking up a combined tally of eight wickets. It was Chahal who was the chief architect of India’s win with his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI cricket.

Chahal and Kuldeep both extracted some big turn and grip from the Centurion track as they had the South African batsmen in their cross hairs. Their willingness to toss the ball up once again was refreshing to see and it paid huge dividends as the hosts were unable to handle their wrist-spin.

Chahal picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI cricket.

Chahal picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI cricket.

SOUTH AFRICA’S BATTING CUPBOARD LIES BARE WITHOUT DU PLESSIS AND DE VILLIERS

As Chahal and Kuldeep sent South Africa’s batsmen packing one after the other, it exposed their palpable vulnerability to spin. That South Africa’s best player of spin, Hashim Amla, has been dismissed in both ODIs so far before the spinners have even come into the bowling attack is telling.

Without the presence of AB De Villiers and Faf du Plessis, both excellent players of spin, South Africa’s batting card does not inspire much confidence at the moment.

Markram was playing in only his third ODI while Zondo was just making his debut. As such, a lot of the responsibility of leading South Africa’s batting order lies with Amla, David Miller and JP Duminy. If the experienced trio do not fire soon, it could be a long six-match series for the hosts.

Too much responsibility lies on Amla's shoulders.

Too much responsibility lies on Amla’s shoulders.

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The Big Bash brigade and other key issues ahead of England's T20I clash against Australia

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England play their first match of the Trans-Tasman tri-series against Australia in Hobart on Wednesday, fresh from beating the hosts 4-1 in the ODI series.

Here, we look at some of the key issues:

CHANGING OF THE GUARD

England dominated Australia in the one-day games but are without some of their key performers due to the necessities of workload management. Joe Root, man of the series and middle-order banker, has been rested alongside Chris Woakes – who proved vital with ball and bat – and dependable spinner Moeen Ali.

With those three taking a well-deserved break the onus falls to the likes of James Vince, Dawid Malan, Chris Jordan and Liam Dawson to fill the gaps. How well Eoin Morgan manages those alterations is key to his side’s prospects.

England pose

THE BIG BASH BRIGADE

England are not alone in ringing the changes for this leg of the trip, with co-hosts Australia allowing the likes of Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood to focus on the forthcoming Test series in South Africa. But with the Big Bash having dominated the domestic cricket scene in recent weeks they have been able to call on a rich collection of T20 specialists.

Chris Lynn, D’Arcy Short, Alex Carey and Billy Stanlake are relative newcomers on the international circuit but are standard-bearers in the BBL and come in with their 20-over skills fully sharpened.

Chris Lynn

BROTHERS IN ARMS

When Sam Curran was called up to the squad as a replacement for Root, joining elder brother Tom, it raised the prospect of England’s first fraternal alliance since 1999. Back then it was the Hollioakes, Adam and Ben, who took the field together.

The Hollioake brothers, like the Currans, were a pair of exciting all-rounders from Surrey but only played seven ODIs and one Test together. Tom, 22, and Sam, 19, look primed to play a significant part in England’s white-ball future, while Somerset siblings Jamie and Craig Overton may yet link up in the Test arena.

CONTEXT OR COMPLICATION?

The precise place of the sprint format in the international schedule is still uncertain. The World T20 was a roaring success in 2016 but will not take place again until 2020, leaving organisers in a bind.

The most frequent solution has been to tack standalone fixtures onto the end of bilateral tours, but here the three boards have agreed a lengthier competition with a showpiece final at the end. Whether this is a long-term solution to provide relevance to the matches in the long gaps between tournaments could be determined by crowd reaction.

The two teams will face-off in Hobart.

HUNDREDS AND FIVE-FORS 

England’s status as fearless purveyors of crash-bang white-ball cricket has been fairly earned but they still lag behind their opponents on a couple of the prestige indicators. They have registered just one T20 century – Alex Hales in 2014 – and no five wicket-hauls.

By comparison New Zealand boast six tons and one five-for with Australia laying claim to three of the four biggest centuries and one five-wicket haul. In an England side which has made a point of setting new benchmarks in the 50-over game, there will be a hunger to put that right.

Important with the bat: Alex Hales.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Virat Kohli and Rashid Khan among the top 10 best T20I cricketers in the world

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Rashid Khan will be a key man for Afghanistan

With the Twenty20 format being the place where players can earn their riches and stars can quickly become household names, we look at 10 of the best T20I talents currently plying their trade in international cricket at the moment.

In no particular order, here they are:

RASHID KHAN (AFGHANISTAN)

The talented leg-spinner, who was recently retained for big-money by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL auction, is cricket’s next big thing and at just 19, is already making waves. With Afghanistan’s status in the game growing, we should be seeing more of a man who is also handy with the bat.

VIRAT KOHLI (INDIA)

Heralded as the world’s best batsman across all formats, the Indian captain averages an indomitable 52.86 in the format and that’s despite not yet having scored a T20I hundred. Nevertheless, with virtually every stroke in his locker, a big-game presence and consistency in the bucket load, the 29-year-old is indispensable.

Kohli has all the shots in his locker.

Kohli has all the shots in his locker.

MITCHELL SANTNER (NEW ZEALAND)

The Kiwi is the world’s top-ranked bowler and all-action with ball and bat. His slow, left-arm delivery and ability to mix it up with pace and variety is certainly unique. Santner has a knack for getting good batsmen out and has a frightening strike rate of 129.77 with the bat. Class act.

SHAKIB AL HASAN (BANGLADESH)

Another special talent, the Bangladesh all-rounder is the leader of his trade when it comes to contributions with the willow and ball in hand. He is a big-game performer and carries the hopes of his country with little fluster. 73 wickets at just over 20 and a strike rate above 121 showcase his skill.

There are not man better T20 all-rounders than Shakib.

There are not many better T20 all-rounders than Shakib.

AARON FINCH (AUSTRALIA)

Few players are more destructive at the top of the order than the Australian opener. Seemingly built to whack the ball hard and far, the 31-year-old boasts an unreal 148 strike rate and 1,132 runs to date at an average of 37.73 from 33 matches. His selection here was never in doubt.

BABAR AZAM (PAKISTAN)

The Lahore-born man is a fluent batsman and at home in the quickfire conditions of T20 cricket. Having climbed to the top of the ICC batting rankings in the format last month, it was further proof that the cousin of the Akmal brothers is set to become one of marquees names of Pakistani cricket despite being just 23.

Azam rose to the top of the top of the T20 rankings last year.

Azam rose to the top of the batting rankings last month.

COLIN MUNRO (NEW ZEALAND)

The bruising New Zealander is one of the biggest hitters around and has a strike rate topping 157, as well as three international tons, to boot. At home when he is ready to wind up and whack it square of the wicket, Munro can take apart any attack on his day and is to be feared.

BEN STOKES (ENGLAND)

The Rajasthan Royals splashed big cash to acquire the England all-rounder’s services for the IPL, and despite a court appearance hanging over him and limited playing time of late, there is no doubt Stokes is one of the standouts in the game and the man with that real crowd appeal.

Ben Stokes remains highly in demand when it comes to T20 cricket.

Ben Stokes remains high in demand when it comes to T20 cricket.

JASPRIT BUMRAH (INDIA)

A real lynchpin for India in attack, Bumrah (Mumbai Indians) was one of three players retained ahead of the IPL auction and offers pace, guile and uneering accuracy with his slingy action. He has an uncanny capability of keeping things tight at the death and seeing his team over the line in tight situations.

MITCHELL STARC (AUSTRALIA)

Yet another man who was lapped up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL Auction, the Baggy Green quick is capable of bowling at ferocious pace whilst also having the skill at his disposal to outfox many of the best batters in the world. 13 wickets 18.86 in 22 international matches is outstanding.

Starc can bowl a mean yorker at frightening pace.

Starc can bowl a mean yorker at frightening pace.

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