India pulled off a fighting total in the third ODI match against South Africa in Paarl on Thursday, December 21. Sanju Samson recorded a maiden international hundred and Tilak Verma scored his first ODI fifty for India after a poor start in a series decider at Boland Park.
KL Rahul lost the toss and the Indian team was forced to bowl first. India made two changes to their playing eleven with debutant Rajat Patidar and spin all-rounder Washington Sundar replacing Ruturaj Gaikwad and Kuldeep Yadav.
Patidar started well by smashing quick 22 runs but South African bowlers made a brilliant comeback. Both Patidar and Sai Sudharsan departed early as South African bowlers dominated powerplay overs. But Samson and Rahul kept the scoreboard moving with a 52-run stand for the third wicket.
Rahul scored 21 runs off 35 balls before losing his wicket to Wiaan Mulder in the 19th over and added a unique achievement to his name. Rahul completed 1000 runs in ODIs in 2023 and became the only second Indian wicketkeeper to record this feat.
The 31-year-old batter emulated the former captain MS Dhoni’s record of scoring 1000-plus runs in ODIs in a calendar year. Dhoni famously scored 1198 runs in 2009 and 1098 runs in 2008 in a 50-over format and not KL Rahul repeats the feat after 14 years.
Rahul has scored 1060 runs in 24 ODI innings in 2023 at an amazing average of 66.25 with two hundreds and seven fifties so far. He also impressed at the ICC World Cup 2023 with 452 runs in 10 innings and is the fourth Indian cricketer to reach the 1000-run mark in ODIs in 2023.
Most ODI runs in 2023 (By Indian Players)
- Shubman Gill – 1584 runs in 29 innings
- Virat Kohli – 1377 runs in 24 innings
- Rohit Sharma – 1255 runs in 26 innings
- KL Rahul – 1060 runs in 24 innings
- Shreyas Iyer – 846 runs in 19 innings
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