New Delhi: Nothing is going in Team India's favour at the moment. After losing the T20 series 2-0 against South Africa, the hosts on Sunday continued their losing streak against the visitors as they were beaten once again in a cliff-hanger in the first ODI in Kanpur.
While chasing a challenging total of 303, India were cruising towards victory till the 46th over of their innings at 269 for three - courtesy opener Rohit Sharma's outstanding 150-run knock.
But after the fall of Rohit's wicket, Indian chase derailed as the hosts lost crucial wickets in quick succession and eventually the match by five wickets.
Even skipper MS Dhoni, arguably the best finisher in limited-overs cricket, failed to justify his reputation and couldn't manage to get his team across the line.
However, the big blow that India suffered during the match was in the form of their premier bowler Ravichandran Ashwin, who walked off the field after bowling his fourth over due to a side strain.
It's still unclear how long Ashwin would be out.
A BCCI release reads: “After making a detailed assessment of the injury, the BCCI medical team will confirm the time frame required for Ashwin to fully recovery from the injury.”
Match-winner Ashwin's injury forced the cricket board to call up ageing tweaker Harbhajan Singh for the second and third ODIs against South Africa.
It would be a difficult task for Team India now to win the five-match ODI series after losing the opener, without the main strike bowler.
Second ODI of the series is scheduled to be played in Indore on October 14.