South Africa proved the naysayers wrong as they defeated India by 7 wickets in the 2nd ODI and took an unassailable 2-nil lead in the three-match series on January 21.
Chasing a target of 288, the hosts cruised home in dominant fashion, courtesy sublime fifties from openers Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan. Shardul Thakur broke the massive 132-run opening stand by trapping dangerous QDK LBW for 78.
After De Kock's departure, Malan took the matters in his hands and forged a fifty-run stand with captain Temba Bavuma. Indian bowlers looked clueless against the duo as they rotated the strike at ease and also hit those boundaries at regular intervals. Bumrah, however, provided a much-needed breakthrough when he dismissed Malan for 91. Chahal then dismissed Bavuma for 35. But Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram took their team home without any trouble and gave South Africa another famous win.
Opting to bat first in a must-win game, the visitors posted a decent total on the board, courtesy Pant's career-best 85. With Pant at number four, captain Rahul then steadied the ship as the duo forged a partnership of 115 runs.
The hosts were poised for a 300-plus finish but Rahul (57) and Pant (85) were dismissed in quick succession. The lower-middle-order disappointed once again as India could only get to 287.
The focus now shifts on the dead rubber on Sunday and what changes India make.