India took a big call in the first ODI when they decided to play two wrist spinners in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the side.
It was a testament to the faith that Kohli had in his two spinners, as Chahal and Yadav looked to seize their first opportunity on foreign soil.
The duo did not disappoint, as Chahal and Yadav were superb and helped restrict the hosts to 269 in their allotted 50 overs.
After winning the toss, du Plessis decided to bat first as Kohli’s men tried to restrict the hosts to a small enough total.
Batting first, South Africa started off well as Amla and de Kock gave the Proteas a quick enough start,. But Kohli quickly turned to his spin duo, as Chahal and Yadav spun a web around the batsmen.
Kuldeep and Chahal picked up five wickets between each other, and gave only 79 runs in their allotted twenty overs.
But du Plessis was imperious, as he scored a brilliant 120 in 112 deliveries and held the inning together.
In the absence of AB de Villiers, Faf took on more responsibility and rose to the occasion. Faf was given great support by Chirs Morris, as the all-rounder scored 37 very important runs for his side.
In reply, captain Kohli was marvelous for his side as his 33rd ODI century gave India a 1-0 lead in the six-match series.
After the match, Kuldeep Yadav revealed how Dhoni helped him in the first innings.
“Actually I was confused a bit what I should bowl because I am playing in South Africa for the first time and it was a new experience for me. The wind was good and the ball was drifting so I was confused what to bowl, and which variation to use.”
“So I was asking Mahi bhai (Dhoni) and he told me ‘bowl as you are bowling’. It is good that he keeps advising from behind the wickets, it gets easier,” said Yadav.
“When you have two legends, Virat (Kohli) and Mahi, one is leading the team and the other has led the team, it is helpful. As a spinner, Mahi bhai does 50 per cent of your work because he has played so much cricket, he reads the batsmen easily,” the spinner said.
“We are youngsters and we don’t have that much experience. That is why he (Dhoni) keeps telling me what to do in what situation. And the mindset comes from the captain.”