India vs SA: Rahul joins unique captaincy feat in series opener. Photo | BCCI Photograph:( Twitter )
KL Rahul became only the second Indian to achieve a unique captaincy feat during Men in Blue's ODI series opener versus South Africa in Paarl.
With Rohit Sharma being ruled out of the ongoing three ODIs between India and South Africa, KL Rahul is leading the Men in Blue in the African nation. On Wednesday (January 19), Rahul walked out for the coin toss for the first time ever as India's captain in the 50-over format.
For the unversed, Rahul has already captained India once. During the ongoing SA tour, Rahul had led the Indian team in the second and penultimate Test -- captaining India for the first time in a full match -- which the visitors lost by 7 wickets. On his ODI captaincy debut, the 29-year-old achieved a unique record. Rahul became only the second Indian to captain the side before making 50 appearances in the ODI format.
Thus, Rahul joined former India batter Mohinder Amarnath in the unique list, who led India on his 35th appearance in ODIs in 1984. At the coin toss, Rahul-led India were asked to bowl first as SA captain Temba Bavuma (110) and Rassie van der Dussen's 129 not out propelled the Proteas to 296-4 in 50 overs.
In reply, India lost stand-in captain Rahul (12) early in the run-chase at Boland Park, Paarl.
After losing the three-match Test series, in the rainbow nation, India will be eager to stage a recovery and win the ODI leg. In early 2018, Virat Kohli-led India had won their first-ever bilateral series in the African nation when they beat SA 5-1 in a six-match ODI series.