India need to change their white ball template. This is the biggest lesson from the ODI series defeat against South Africa.
With the exception of a 48 – run partnership of Rishabh Pant, Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin, the tourists played a formidable cricket in the second ODI, losing by seven wickets as well as a three – match series.
What India lacked was the foresight of Quinton de Kok, who proved to be the main difference. The left-handed game aimed at Bhuvneshwar Kumar early on the used Boland Park pitch and caught it in the lapels, where he caught the old ball and lost its speed outside the deck. De Kok’s 78 off 66 balls and Janman Malone’s 132-run opening partnership closed the door for India. Malan scored 91 off 108 balls, with Proteas chasing 288 for victory with 11 balls to spare.
D’Coque was lucky when the ball missed an easy stumping in Ashwin’s bowling. De Kok’s explosive performance lifted South Africa to the top.
He was ready to live with the sword. That’s the job of those who perform batting in smaller formats, with occasional falls. Jason Roy and Johnny Bairstow did it for England. David Warner and Aaron Finch do it for Australia. Martin Guptill plays New Zealand and Fakhar Zaman plays Pakistan.
Shikhar Dhawan is the highest ranking officer in the Indian team. But rarely does a run score an A-ball in the first powerplay. On Friday, he was out for 29 off 38 balls. India’s start was slow compared to its rivals; Against South Africa, he scored 57 not out after 10 overs and 66 not out after 10 overs. On a slow pitch, the tough new ball provided a great opportunity to score fast.
India did not miss Rohit Sharma in Tests and ODIs on this tour. Rohit also takes some time off before opening in white-ball cricket. But his range allows him that freedom. Rahul, who is usually a free-flowing batsman in 50-over cricket, was promoted when he promoted himself to open the innings. Playing the role of a presenter, he scored 55 runs but never found himself dominating the bowling. His 115-run third-wicket partnership with the ball after losing consecutive wickets to Dhawan and Kohli was instrumental in India’s recovery, with the duo bowling five off the second ball. But controlling his natural stroke-play was not good for his team in both ODIs.
This Indian batting line-up has also developed a habit of being prone to soft dismissals or slogging under pressure. India loses T20 World Cup It was an obstacle for them in the ODIs here as well. Rahul scored with a strike rate of less than 70. Dhawan was a little better, 76 plus. Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer had strike rates of 78 and 66 respectively. That was cricket in the 1990s. Only Pant, Shardul and Ashwin have scored more than 100 runs per over.
The ball was the only specialist batsman to thrive on his courage. After Keshav Maharaj lay down, Tabrais slammed Shamsi for a boundary, followed by another boundary on the next ball, with a traditional sweep. When the Chinaman bowler removed the slip fielder and put an extra man on the leg side, the ball used the depth of the crease and sent Shamsi to the boundary.
He reached his half-century off 43 balls and scored the best 85 runs of his ODI career, but was bowled by Shamsi in the long-on. It paid off for India’s hopes of scoring a total of over 300 in modern ODIs. Again, the ball was the only batsman who forced the South African bowlers to think differently.
His contribution of 115 runs was 83 off 65 balls while Rahul scored 31 off 46 balls. When both the batsmen were stuck at one end, South Africa got a gilt-edged chance to pin the association, but Maharaj failed. Collect Tempa Bavuma’s throw. At that time India was at 70/2. Later, Rahul was relieved at 46, with Aiden Markram giving up a definite catch off Andhil Fehluquayo’s bowling.
India did not use Suryakumar Yadav in two ODIs as a result of conservative thinking. The team management did the right thing with Venkatesh Iyer, but a player like Yadav is an asset in the short formats. It is up to the think tank to decide which of the specialist batsmen should pave the way for him. Yadav’s 360-degree batting gives the x-factor and keeps the bowlers at their fingertips. He is innovative in not getting out of trouble.
When India bowled, the biggest question was why the selectors had not yet moved on from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Medium pacer Jaspreet Bumra opened the innings and De Kok hit two fours and a six in his first over. Kumar looked at the pedestrian. He conceded 67 runs in eight overs. At the same time, de Kok was not afraid to take the attack to Bumra.
In terms of tactics, it was doubtful that Shardul would be dismissed shortly after the opening partnership, with Ashwin and Yusvendra Chahal bowling just four overs, two on top and two losing two. At the same time, again, the Indian spinners were knocked out by their South African opponents.
After losing two wickets in quick succession, the Zafars panicked and Bumra’s ball bounced off Malan’s glove and offered Chahal a return catch. But a quick opening partnership means that the hosts were never under the pressure of the rate they demanded. They jumped to the highest ODI run chase at this venue, testifying to the need for a big shake-up for India’s short-form bowling.
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