Arshdeep Singh spearheaded India's attack (Image Source: BCCI)

A new-look Indian team, under the leadership of KL Rahul, scripted history this past week as it became only the second touring party from the country to win an ODI series in the rainbow nation, South Africa.

The visitors got off to a perfect start as they smashed South Africa by 8 wickets in the Pink ODI in Jo’burg, before the hosts struck back with disdain to pick up a comprehensive 8-wicket win in Gqeberha.

However, Team India proceeded to seal the 3-match rubber in emphatic fashion in Paarl thanks to a brilliant century from Sanju Samson and a 4-wicket haul from Arshdeep Singh.

On that note, here’s a look at some of the positives for Team India from their memorable series win in South Africa.

Key Takeaways from India's 2-1 triumph

Sai Sudarshan sparkles on debut

Sai Sudarshan flicks (Image Source: BCCI)

A solid base and a still head coupled with a gritty temperament, is what defines Sai Sudarshan-the skillful left-hander from Tamil Nadu- and the 22-year-old displayed each of these facets to the hilt in the recently-concluded ODI series in South Africa.

The 22-year-old has been a regular performer for his state at the domestic level ever since he made his debut in 2021. Sudarshan averages 60 in List A cricket with 6 half-centuries and as many 100s against his name, and when provided with a rare opportunity to represent the Men in Blue this past week, young Sai brought every ounce of the experience he has gained in these two years to the table.

He had it easy in terms of match situation in his debut game as India was only chasing 117, but one can't discount the nerves that the young lad must be facing as he marked his crease to face his first delivery in international cricket.

It didn't look like that though as Sai leaned into compact square drives, and wonderful square-cuts to announce himself at the highest level. The southpaw smashed an unbeaten 43-ball 55 with the help of 9 fours to seal a fairytale debut.

In the next match at St. George’s Park, Sai displayed his versatility as he adapted beautifully to a surface that offered variable bounce and anchored a steady 83-ball 62 before eventually succumbing to the steep bounce.

Overall, Sudarshan finished his maiden series in international cricket with 127 runs in 3 innings @ 63.5.

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Arshdeep Singh emerges as the leader of the pack

Arshdeep Singh celebrates (Image Source: BCCI)

Arshdeep Singh has struggled for control in the shortest format of the game in the recent past, but the young left-arm seamer was absolutely on point in the ODI series as he got the ball to move both ways to dismantle the Proteas top and middle order.

Singh proved to be unplayable in the first match at the Wanderers as he ran past the cream of the South African batting to earn his maiden 5-for in the format and set his side up for a comfortable 8-wicket win.

The left-arm continued with his good work in the 2nd game in Port Elizabeth as he again troubled the home side with seam and swing, but was devoid of luck.

That wasn't the issue in the series decider as the southpaw claimed 4 wickets at the cost of just 30 runs (in 9 overs), including the prized scalps of Tony de Zorzi (81) and Reeza Hendricks.

Arshdeep finished with 10 wickets in 3 matches and was rightly adjudged the “Player of the Series” for his role in India’s historic series win.

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Sanju Samson proves his worth

Sanju Samson produced a masterclass in Paarl (Image Source: BCCI)

With the series on the line and a tricky surface and match situation to tackle, Sanju Samson showcased his worth to the absolute zenith as he played a near-perfect ODI knock and hammered a series-winning hundred (108 off 114) to help India post an above-par total of 296.

It was a perfect ODI innings from Samson where he consolidated during the first half of his innings before exploding at the backend to flatten the South African attack.

Tilak Varma scored his maiden half-century in ODIs (Image Source: BCCI)

In his presence, youngster Tilak Varma blossomed after an extremely sluggish start to his innings to eventually finish with a 77-ball 52.

Sanju’s knock and his partnership with Tilak ensured that the Indians was able to post as many as 296, which, as we found out in the end, were way too many on that surface.

Rinku Singh & Rajat Patidar showcase a glimpse of their talent

Rajat Patidar showcased his talent in Paarl (Image Source: BCCI)

Two cricketers playing completely different roles but if there is one thing that proved to be a common thread between them it is their fearlessness.

Yes, we are talking about opener Rajat Patidar and finished Rinku Singh, both of whom showcased their strokeplay and fearless attitude.

This was on full show in the series decider in Paarl, where Patidar gave a glimpse of what we can expect from them at the international level if they keep getting regular opportunities.

Patidar got India off to a flier as he went hell for leather from the very first delivery. He lasted only 16 deliveries, and he would be disappointed at not making the most of his start, but in that short span of time, the 30-year-old assured everyone- even his doubters- that he belongs to this level.

Rinku Singh (Image Source: BCCI)

Rinku, meanwhile, just carried on from where he had left off in the T20Is as he gave India the perfect finishing impetus in Paarl with a 27-ball 38 to lift the score to insurmountable heights.

Featured Image Credit: BCCI