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going for 5-1: Kohli

| | Port Elizabeth
going for 5-1: Kohli

Indian captain Virat Kohli says his team might test its bench strength in the sixth and final ODI against South Africa on Friday but asserted that intensity won't be lacking despite the match's dead-rubber status.

India secured their first ever series win in South Africa across formats yesterday when they beat the hosts by 73 runs in the fifth ODI.

"After this series is wrapped up we'll sit down and think about where to improve. For now, 4-1 feels great. We want to win 5-1, for sure, but there might be a scenario for a few more guys to get a chance in the next match," Kohli said.

"But the ultimate priority is to win and we'll do anything we can to win."

The performance of Kohli and wrist spinners Kuldeep Chahal and Yuzvendra Chahal stood out but the captain said the series win was the result of a team effort.

"I'm very pleased, it was another complete performance from us," he said referring to Tuesday’s win . "They (South Africa) had the pressure of losing this series and we knew that. Ever since the third Test in Johannesburg, it's been a good time for us. It's been a collective effort to create history."

South African stand-in captain Aiden Markram said his depleted team was outplayed by India in the series. Regular captain Faf du Plessis was ruled out due to a finger injury after the first ODI while AB de Villiers was not fit to take part in the first three games.

Wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock too got injured in the middle of the series.

"Firstly, credit goes to India. Our batting wasn't up to scratch. You struggle to build momentum when you lose wickets. They've got their game plans nailed so credit to how they've played," said Markram.

Barring one game, the South African batsmen struggled against Indian spinners and that made a huge difference in the outcome of the series.

"I do believe we've played their spinners progressively better in the series. It's a learning process. There's still a lot of pride to play for now and we're gonna look to bounce back and end the series on a positive note," added Markram.

The final ODI takes place in Centurion on Friday.

our biggest overseas triumph: Rohit

India vice-captain Rohit Sharma feels the team has achieved its biggest overseas ODI triumph by getting the better of South Africa in the ongoing rubber.

India won the fifth ODI by 73 runs here last night to grab an unassailable 4-1 lead in the six-match series. The last game is scheduled on February 16 in Centurion.

"Absolutely, I think this is the biggest overseas victory (in ODIs). This is a good win because this was a bilateral series. Before this, we won the CB tri-series in Australia (2007-08). Even that series was quite tough," Sharma, who starred with a 115-run knock on Tuesday, said.

"For me, it is difficult to compare the two. I think this series means a lot to us. The way we played from the first game, we have dominated the series, and the result is there for all to see."

Sharma said the tough conditions, coupled with the fact that his team clearly dominated, made the victory a special one.

"This will be right up there. After 25 years we have won a series in South Africa. It is not the easiest place to play cricket, definitely not the easiest place to win a series. I think a lot of credit goes to the boys," he said.

"Everybody who got an opportunity put his hand up and took up the challenge. If you look at the entire ODI series, it was a dominant performance for us. It will only give us confidence as a team to go outside and keep winning those series."

Sharma felt the Test series, which the visitors lost 1-2, was not a one-sided affair either.

"The Test series was very close, I believe. It could have gone either way. Anyway, we are very proud of our performance and very proud of what we achieved today," he said.

 
 
 
 
 

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